With the 2014 elections looming, the ANC will have to navigate a landmine field not seen since the Angolan Bush War to remain in power. But they have a plan. Radebe G Radebe leopard crawls his way into the inner circle.
JOHANNESBURG – “Times are tough in the ANC leadership,” sighed ANC campaign strategist Ronald Makhatona. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult for us to convince the poor masses of poor people to give up their future for our wellbeing.”
The beleaguered party spin cycled its way through a tumultuous 2013 with the Gupta Saga, Nkandlagate, e-tolls, increased service delivery protests, constant reshuffling of an inefficient cabinet, occasional “misquotation” of what President Jacob Zuma really meant to have said but didn’t actually say and the Thamsanqa Jantjie show.
The planning committee fears that their “A vote for the ANC is a Vote for Democracy” campaign strategy might not be as successful as it has been in the past. “What we desperately needed was a new plan,” revealed Makhatona. “President Zuma reminded me that the ANC will rule until Jesus returns, so I turned to the bible for inspiration and came across the story of Esau and Jacob. That story got me thinking.”
In the scriptures, Jacob was cooking a delicious red lentil soup. Esau was very hungry, and asked Jacob for some food. Jacob insisted that Esau give up his birthright before feeding him. Esau went to sleep with a full stomach that night, but Jacob got the right to all of his father’s sheep. “Our president’s name is Jacob. To me it was a sign.”
A plan of action was set in motion whereby food parcels would be distributed to the poor townships with the hope that the people would temporarily forget the lack of service delivery in their areas, and once again pledge allegiance to the ANC.
The biggest challenge to overcome was that the people of South Africa don’t really eat red lentil soup. “We feared that convincing people to sell their dreams for lentils won’t be a successful enterprise,” he explained. “We needed something more ayoba.”
The ANC leadership put together a task team to do research in order to come up with a suitable replacement. After spending R2.4 million rand of taxpayers’ money, the Red Lentil Replacement Research Unit discovered that South Africans like to eat pap en vleis. However, they decided that it might not be the most suitable choice. “We realised that the meat would rot, so we made up parcels of maize meal with cans of chakalaka and Lucky Star instead,” Makhatona clarified. Everybody loves Lucky Star. It’s the taste of home. Ing’shaya ngaphakathi. It makes me warm inside.”
The campaign was branded as the Red Lentil Soup Campaign Strategy, even though there are cans of pilchards but no lentils. “It doesn’t matter what people sell their futures for, as long as they sell it to us,” shrieked Makhatona. And besides, Packets of Maize Meal with Cans of Pilchards and Chakalaka Campaign Strategy is too long for party officials to remember.”
Although still in its initial phase, the campaign seems to be working. “I love the ANC,” shouted a jubilant Bongani Masha from Klipspruit. “They give me a food parcel every five years.
Of course, the plan is not without pitfalls. Later in the story, Esau realised he was given the raw end of a dirty stick and tried to kill his brother Jacob, forcing him to flee. “We’ll worry about that later,” shrugged Makhatona. First we must win. Then maybe we’ll spend another R206 million on security upgrades to Nkandla.”
For now, however, ANC delegates are ecstatic about the kickoff to their 2014 election campaign. “I’m glad we did our research,” says Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas. “If it was up to me, I would have just bought everyone KFC” BN
Radebe understands that you really need to look politics from all sides, weigh up all options and come to terms with what politics is before you can write about politics. This takes time and resources, and he never makes a deadline. Still, his ill-conceived articles are better than it would have been if he rushed it to meet demands. Even if we can never print it, because it’s too late.