GARETH VAN ONSELEN: The ANC’s worst-ever election campaign
The ANC’s shiny new CEO and oft-touted turnaround strategy cannot hide the naked truth: the ANC is about despair, not hope
“Though so profound a double-dealer, I was in no sense a hypocrite; both sides of me were in dead earnest; I was no more myself when I laid aside restraint and plunged in shame, than when I laboured, in the eye of day, at the furtherance of knowledge or the relief of sorrow and suffering.” ~ Henry Jekyll (Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 1886) The ANC posters in Johannesburg, drenched like everything in the city this week, are peeling off their backing boards. Cyril Ramaphosa’s face, shrivelled and wrinkled, is folding in on itself. It seems an appropriate metaphor for a campaign that has been shuddering along in first gear from day one. This is the ANC’s worst election effort ever. Any election campaign has a thousand different ingredients. It is helpful to summarise them into three broader categories: the “air war” (essentially, communication of the message, mostly through free media and paid advertisements); the “ground war” (in-person voter ac...
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