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OpEds

ANC panders to the myth of the Muslim vote

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It’s unseasonably warm this winter in South Africa, and the trees and street poles are in full bloom, bursting in the vibrant red of the Economic Freedom Fighters; the fading fortunes and yellow of the African National Congress (ANC); and the photosynthesising green of ActionSA; uMkhonto we Sizwe; the Freedom Front Plus; and the jihadi dreams of Al Jamah-ah. The smell of elections permeate the air, and everyone’s talking about a democratic revolution.

The Americans have taught us that people lie, they lie to pollsters, and they lie to themselves. However, all the polls are telling us that the ANC is in the grip of an increasing death spiral, desperate to cling to power, willing to forge any coalition to hold frantically onto the vestiges of power and access to the public purse that has fed the trough of ANC corruption.

At dinner tables around the country, people question the motivations of the ANC and whether its foreign policy has been sold for commercial gain. There’s little doubt that that death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has deprived South African Foreign Minister Dr Naledi Pandor of her Islamist soulmate.

South Africa has ideologically aligned itself to the rogue Islamic Republic of Iran. It has protected the former Peacock Throne from the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency; has welcomed the ayatollahs as partners into an expanded BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates) alliance; and has done the mullah’s bidding at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

Pundits believe that the ANC’s newfound respect for law and justice, something it has never shown any affinity for in the South African context, is a cheap attempt to gain support from South Africa’s Muslims and an attempt to unseat the Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape.

President Ramaphosa is now seen regularly donning a Palestinian keffiyeh and, awkwardly and devoid of rhythm, chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, bowing down in Muslim prayer at every opportunity – but probably not yet five times a day – and meeting Islamic organisations pledging mutual support, love, admiration, and presumably intifada.

The ANC even proposed that its outgoing jihadi foreign minister should stand as its premier candidate in the Western Cape. Another ANC idea that appears to have gone awkwardly wrong.

On the SA Jewish Report’s election webinar on Sunday evening, 19 May, one analyst suggested that the ANC’s approach in targeting Israel at the ICJ and exonerating all of the sins of the Palestinians and Hamas had restored the ANC’s moral authority in the mind of voters, after having it tarnished by decades of rampant corruption, crippling incompetence, and the wholesale looting of state assets.

What’s evident from Ramaphosa’s regular answering of the athan, the Islamic call to prayer, is his expectation that South African Muslims will return the favour in votes and deliver to him victory in the Western Cape.

But do the numbers match the expectations?

According to Wikipedia, there are 892 685 Muslims in South Africa, including a large number of illegal Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and Somalis. Muslims constitute about 1.2% of the voting age population of the country, and just more than 6% of the population in the Western Cape.

Of this total number of 892 685, the number who hold South African citizenship, register to vote, and actually cast a vote on election day, will be less than 250 000 people. If all of these South Africans voted for the same party, they would be able to affect only a total of six or seven seats in the 400 seat National Assembly.

But we do know that communities don’t vote as a block.

In the 2019 general election, 31 468, Muslims voted for the Al Jamah-ah Islamic religious party, indicating that Islamic issues were the most fundamental issue in their lives. In the 2021 local government election, Al Jamah-ah increased its votes to 61 189, producing two of Johannesburg’s most incompetent and cringeworthy mayors, Thapelo Amad, and subsequent to him being removed from office, Kabelo Gwamanda, a name that almost no-one in the city of Johannesburg knows or cares to remember. Al Jamah-ah has failed to have Sharia law introduced into Johannesburg, or name Sandton Drive after Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled. Miraculously, the American consulate is still not situated on a road named after a terrorist who hijacked an American TWA flight, as entertaining as that would be for the ANC and as devastating as that would be for South Africa.

For those Muslims whose primary voting objective is to support Islamist causes and perpetuate the Iranian and Palestinian state capture of South African foreign policy, they are likely to continue to support Al Jamah-ah over a watered down “fong kong” ANC replica.

For those Muslims, particularly in the Western Cape, they have a choice to continue to vote for the Democratic Alliance (DA), which has turned Cape Town into one of the few thriving cities in South Africa, or vote against their own economic best interests and support the return of the ANC, with its package of looting, cronyism, destruction, and chaos.

The Muslim community, which is made up of astute businesspeople, talented professionals, and exceptional cricketers, is unlikely to select chaos and self-destruction for the sake of Palestine. As sympathetic as it is to the Palestinian cause, the DA’s silent ambiguity on Israel may have won it no friends in the Jewish community and lost it few voters in the Western Cape.

The ANC took a gamble in supporting the Palestinians. It did so out of a long-standing deep commitment to the Palestinian cause which is rooted in the childishness of the Cold War, from which the ANC never evolved. It has sacrificed South Africa’s key international commercial interests to become Iran’s proxy in the Global South.

South African’s are by and large conservative Christians. The images of Ramaphosa bowing down to an Islamic deity has not gone down well with churches around the country.

Frans Cronje’s Social Research Foundation polled voters in April 2024, asking them, “Whose actions do you support more in the current Gaza conflict? Israel or Hamas?” A total of 13.7% of people supported Hamas, while 31.3% supported Israel. The vast majority of South Africans had no opinion or simply didn’t care about a conflict far away from their own lives, no matter how pivotal it was to the identity of the ANC. Asked how closely people followed the conflict, only 3% of black South Africans said they followed the conflict very closely.

In March 2024, the Brenthurst Foundation polled the question, “Does South Africa’s policy on the Israel/Hamas conflict make you more or less likely to vote for the ANC?” A total of 23% of respondents answered that they would be less likely to vote for the ANC given its policy on the conflict, while 19% of South Africans were more likely to vote for the ANC.

Within the Western Cape, the DA is more likely to lose coloured voters to the proud Zionist and charismatic firebrand, Gayton McKenzie’s party, the Patriotic Alliance, than it is to the ANC.

The ANC has miscalculated. Its decision this week to withdraw from an eNCA elections debate because the venue was the South African Jewish Museum, has exposed the ANC as nothing more than a racist, Jew-hating collective of jihadist sympathisers, who would be more comfortable in Nazi grey shirts than in the fading yellow blossoms of their wilting posters.

  • Howard Sackstein is the chairperson of the SA Jewish Report, but writes in his personal capacity.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Shaun

    May 24, 2024 at 12:03 am

    Raisi and co. been taught a lesson, ANC is hopefully next in line.

    • Ahmed

      May 31, 2024 at 4:10 pm

      Never mind be on the right side of justice and humanity thank you anc for doing the right thing at the expense of your majority God bless

      • Steve

        Jun 3, 2024 at 1:20 pm

        Garbage Ahmed – The ANC has no ethical or moral compass. Siding with Islamic Jihad is a pathetic if not unintellectual attempt and PANDORring to the moslem vote of around 250000 eligible voters at best. God help South Africa with the ANC chicanery at the wheel. The non entity they call plstn is another figment of the ANC’s infantile attempt at trying to be relevant. No one with any modicum of sanity supports the Terrorist plstn entity. Good lucj with you Al jaaamaaah party or whatever you call it.

  2. Tanya

    Jun 6, 2024 at 10:02 am

    Well written Howard

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