Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, April 24, 2006

Zille under attack
New Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille's weekend excursion turned nasty, with alleged "ANC supporters" throwing chairs at her in the hall, and stones at her car. ANC supporters or not, abusing an elected official violently again paints a poor picture of our country's respect for democracy. The arrogance of the ANC within the regional government shone through again, with the local ANC councilor Depoutch Elese stating that the reason she was abused was because "people were angry she had not 'followed procedure' and informed him of her visit."

This is arrogance and disrespect of the highest order. The fact that the ANC feels that the Mayor has to gain their permission to enter one of her districts speaks volumes. Zille claims that those attacking her were "wearing ANC T-shirts" and that the attack was "undoubtedly planned". Not being there, it's difficult to make comments on those statements, but the ANC councilor's attitude certainly lends credence to the claim.

Unfortunately for Zille, what these protagonists have done is create a perception that she, and the DA, is not welcome in certain sections of the Cape, which immediately is divisive and infers that she does not hold legitimacy for members of the electorate. This lack of support is natural in a democracy, but physical violence is not.

The ANC should take a hard look at what is going on in the Western Cape.