Before every election, the ANC puts “the coloured people” on its agenda, only to dispense with them afterwards. Coloured people remain the ANC’s voting fodder, a political nuisance, and a mere demographic. The proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act and Jimmy Manyi’s lightning rod comments and make it no better. With regards to the latter, the ANC’s belated apology states that “while we believe Manyi possesses good communication, business and political astuteness, we believe that in this particular instance, he has committed a grave error of judgement.”
Manyi does not have good communication, business and political astuteness and has never demonstrated any of these qualities to earn him the job of head of GCIS. Born with foot and mouth disease, he is a racist writ large, just like Julius Malema and many others in the ANC. His litany of utterances over the past decade makes Eugene Terreblanche seem like a model of political purity.
To suggest that coloureds are over-concentrated in the Western Cape and that by some form of social engineering, they be compelled to go to other provinces, sounds like ethnic cleansing to me. Imagine someone in the DA uttering similar remarks - that there are too many blacks in the country and that their concentration should be diluted. The outcry would never stop as the race card and racial “woundedness” has become the sole preserve of the ANC. Inflicting this national guilt trip on the non-black population is what feeds its entitlement to black economic enrichment.
Since Madiba’s resignation, coloured people have continually been subjected to the political manipulation of the ruling party. The imposition of Marius Fransman as party leader in the Western Cape is another of its grave insults. So obviously excluded from the Land Restitution process, coloured people are considered good enough for the crumbs that fall from the ANC’s table.
Take District Six for example. It is uncanny how before every local government election, the ANC and its cronies hand over houses to a select group of claimants in an ad hoc and unconstitutional fashion. Driving past District Six every day, I watch with interest the speed with which the next batch of houses is being completed, so that they will be ready for hand over just before the elections. This restitution fraud has become part of the politics of coercion and control against coloured people.
Former claimants expected the DA to tackle District Six head on when they took over both the City and Province and undo the corrupt partnerships and the networks of self-elected representatives that flourished under the ANC and which are deeply embedded within the restitution mafia. Negating the symbolic importance of restoring District Six to the people in a broader integrated model of redevelopment, both the ANC and the DA have failed claimants and the coloured community at large.
Politicians need to realise that ethnic affiliation is not a necessary and sufficient condition for them to gain the coloured vote. By virtue of being coloured, Marius Fransman is still not qualified for this role, given the raft of allegations of corruption against him. Secondly, his close association with equally corrupt Ebrahim Rasool, and his association with the “brown envelope” media scandal, has rendered him incompetent for the job.
Coloured people want honourable incorrupt and exemplary leaders. That is why they have consistently voted against the ANC since Madiba left office.
For a very nationalist organisation such as the ANC, race has always been an essential mobilising tool against white domination; ethnicity, however, has been the perennial thorn in the flesh in the ANC’s struggle to be the hegemonic power within the liberation movement.