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Even in politics, where individuals have little shame in what they say and what they do, the ANC stands out as being utterly shameless.
Hardly a day goes by when its luxury car-driving politicians don’t piggyback on the plight of the poor and downtrodden to push the ANC’s own agenda … an agenda which, many believe, mainly consists of filling the already bloated bellies of its leaders.
Yet, over the weekend, ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile took shamelessness to a new level when he publicly handed out wads of cash to congregants at a church service in Limpopo.
The fact that he and his entourage were in the area campaigning for the ANC made it obvious what was going on: Cash for votes.
The ANC tried to spin this as a “donation” to the church, but this still looks to most reasonable people like nothing less than electoral bribery.
Given that the ANC has conducted itself in this way for years – with politicians handing out food parcels and T-shirts quicker than you can say “ballot box” – the only surprise is that Mashatile was so blatant in using cash as the inducement.
There is a lot of merit in the argument that the explosion of social grants since 1994 – more than 18 million South Africans now receive at least one regularly – has been the mechanism by which the cynical ANC leadership has kept its supporters welded to it.
People whose only income is a state payout have come to see that money as coming from the ANC – and the ANC has done nothing to disabuse them of that view.
In some areas, there is a very real belief that if the ANC is removed from power, the state grants will disappear.
That’s a powerful incentive.
ANC employees – who have not been paid for three months – must feel particularly peeved at Mashatile’s largesse.
LOCAL ELECTIONS 2021