Mbalula dismisses the notion that any opposition party could successfully unseat the ANC.

Mbalula dismisses the notion that any opposition party could successfully unseat the ANC. Image: SABC News

Defeat then, no chance now: Mbalula doubts opposition’s odds

Fikile Mbalula dismisses that any opposition party could successfully unseat the ANC from government, saying they are big dreamers.

Mbalula dismisses the notion that any opposition party could successfully unseat the ANC.

Mbalula dismisses the notion that any opposition party could successfully unseat the ANC. Image: SABC News

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula contends that the opposition’s inability to remove his party from power during the 2021 local government elections, when the ANC was perceived as vulnerable, suggests there are no grounds for them to believe they can do so presently.

Opposition parties stand no chance, says Mbalula

Mbalula asserts that opposition parties are chasing an unrealistic goal by believing they can overthrow the ANC from the national government and control eight provinces, as the ANC has reorganised and strengthened its position since the previous election.

According to Mbalula, the opposition had the best chance to oust the ANC in 2021. 

This was due to the Constitutional Court’s unexpected announcement of the election date, which left the ANC with just a month to campaign and potentially vulnerable to defeat.

According to TimesLive, the nation was grappling with the aftermath of stringent Covid-19 lockdown measures, resulting in job losses and restrictions on various freedoms. 

The ANC’s messaging was further undermined by Eskom’s imposition of stage six load shedding just a week before the polls, dealing a significant blow to their electoral prospects.

Internal conflicts within the ANC were exacerbated by the suspension of its then secretary-general, Ace Magashule, who faced corruption charges. 

Additionally, the party faced challenges regarding objections to the candidate list submitted to the IEC, with allegations of names being altered and substituted, causing further turmoil.

Mbalula contends that the opposition’s inability to achieve an electoral “heist” in the past implies they missed their prime opportunity three years ago. 

He remains steadfast in his belief that the ANC will secure a substantial victory in the upcoming May national and provincial elections.

“Even if they say Zuma has hurt us, we will not go below 50%; it’s not going to happen,” said Mbalula.

“If it does happen, it must be because we have not done our job. I can assure you, comrades, we will jump that 50%. And you must be ready because, in 30 days, Ramaphosa and the alliance will again constitute the government.”

Mbalula delivered his remarks at the national policy conference of the labour union Satawu.

Formerly in charge of elections until the ANC’s 2022 national conference, Mbalula has consistently credited Ramaphosa as the party’s saviour in previous elections.

He has maintained that the ANC’s electoral performance in 2019 would have been considerably poorer if Ramaphosa had not been the party’s president.

In the 2021 local government election, the ANC experienced a significant setback as its support fell below 50% for the first time, resulting in hung municipalities nationwide.

Although initially perceived as a significant defeat for the ANC, Mbalula implies it may have been a minor loss since the opposition failed to secure outright victories.

Political upset: Patriotic Alliance stuns ANC and DA with historic Western Cape victory

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) sent ripples of concern through the ranks of both the DA and the ANC in the Western Cape by clinching victories inwards previously held by these parties in recent by-elections. 

According to the Daily Maverick, the PA nearly caused an upset for the ANC in Clanwilliam, where the local party Cederberg Eerste (CE) emerged victorious. Meanwhile, the ANC secured a ward in Polokwane from the EFF, while the DA claimed a ward from the ANC in the Eastern Cape town of Pearston.

In seven of the 11 by-elections, voter turnout exceeded the previous elections in these wards, indicating a heightened enthusiasm among voters to participate.

According to the SABC News, the ANC in Limpopo has emerged as the winner in the by-election for Ward 10 of the Polokwane Municipality in Seshego. This ward was formerly under the control of the EFF.

Following allegations of possessing illegal firearms and ammunition, the former EFF councillor resigned from office.

 In the subsequent by-election, the ward saw competition from various parties, including the EFF, ActionSA, MK party, Operation Dudula, and the Economic Liberation Forum of South Africa.