Translate this page: right click anywhere on the page, & select translate. Then select a language

Simple Elections

Who, What, When, Where and Why

Let me say, upfront, I wish to be proven wrong, but …


This is the boring bit. The ANC will continue to win, until there is no money left. They are, were, and always will be the most expensive government in the history of this country. Do they care? Not a jot. I could go on all day about this, keeping it simple, let me repeat what Muhammad Ali said: 

To become the champion, you have to WHUP me”

Looking as hard as I can, I do not see a knockout specialist out there. No George Foreman, no Mike Tyson. I saw (incorrectly, as it turns out) the ANC playing the Rope a Dope trick: the most expensive pre-election con trick they have ever played, burning an ocean tanker full of diesel burnt to keep the lights on, to dim “load-shedding” from our short memories. Francois Cronje says not, and a reliable Eskom insider too. Both are convincing that Eskom at last fixed itself, enough to keep the lights on. The truth, with the onset of winter, and with elections in the past, will reveal itself.

I can, in a weak moment, be impressed by what is said. As with all platsak people, however, you can’t fool me for long. ‘Done’ matters, ‘Said’ not so much. So, what has the ANC said, and done? Let’s ignore ‘said’. Not worth the time of day. But ‘done’ includes (this time around):

It doesn’t matter that R350 is an insultingly stupid amount of money (dreamed up by loonies?) that nobody can live on for a week. It doesn’t matter that the NHI will not be free and likely expensive, and it doesn’t matter that they may have spent a trillion or on diesel. What matters to the poor is that they won’t be paying for this. Not yet, and not any more than they have been doing, and not soon. What matters is that R350 is something, where nobody is giving anything. Free health care for all is a fine idea, who wouldn’t want that? It doesn’t matter which parties rant about its cost. All they say, all the time, is “Cost, cost, cost”. Nobody comes with a new idea, except lame old “privatisation and free-market” drivel. Since when did capitalism look after unwell or poor, old people? Forget it. It also doesn’t make a difference that grabbing 90% of political party funding is unfair. Who is talking about fair?

If you think this is all far fetched, remember this: the ANC learned from the best. A minority party won the elections in 1948 because of a promise (to a minority) that then kept it in power for 40 years. They promised WHITE BREAD. They also got there by jiggering constituencies, but hey, white bread is far easier to understand then gerrymandering.

Are the people of SA that gullible? I think people everywhere are - no need to be sophisticated. Take the sophisticated, first-world Brits. With Brexit, they scuppered their future by voting to make England great again, all because a blond boor with bad hair, a slightly prissy accent and truckloads of money sold them the idea. Nobody denies that the Brits are quite a clever bunch. They keep doing really innovative, smart things. But then they go and do that. All about mass psychology, innit? This is politics, Nobody is talking about sanity here. Ask Rory Stewart. He was the only Brit MP to publicly call BoJo a nutter. Bojo didn’t sue. Shall we continue about the sophisticated, first-world Americans and Make America Great Again?. I didn’t think so.

I know a lot of people will pound me for saying that we are stupid. I am not saying that. I am saying we, and everyone else in the world, tend to be fickle, especially when fed up and tired. I am saying we all want an easy life, don’t want to think too much, and don’t enjoy being bothered with voting. I am saying it’s like on our last day on earth, we are offered a burger or a beer, we are choosing beer. Ja, nee.

There’s an old gag routine:

LISA: Hey, Rastus! Ain’t that a horse-fly on your face?

RASTUS: Are you sayin’ I got a face like a horse’s ass?

LISA: I ain’t sayin’ nothin. But you can’t fool a horse-fly.

It is what it is. We know what’s better. As they say in Cape Town, we are JUST … and the sentence is left to die. Does this mean we need to improve? I prefer to think of this bromide:

If it’s too hard, we are doing it wrong.


Elections are about numbers only. It follows that I am not excited about polls, nor by all the huffing and puffing from party political suits (any coloured suits: green, blue, red, yellow. Ho hum to the lot) on social media. I am also not impressed by white business, because they, except for GG Alcock, do not listen to browns. They never have. They didn’t listen in Palestine and South Africa in 1948, and they don’t listen now.

I long knew that what whites think doesn't change things much in SA. It’s better to accept that we are fairly insignificant. With all the perceived wealth, power or influence, the fact remains that very few whites chat on a frank, trusting daily basis with our people that matter. Please, as you drive around dorps and towns, note how many stoeps feature a racial mix happily relaxing and chatting over tea, scones or coffee and rusks. Ja, nee again. Do I wish we were back in the day when the worst argument, boer on boer, was Ford vs Chev vs Dodge? No. They ignored reality then, and we ignore reality now.

In my opinion, the ANC will get in with 51%. The worst they will do is 46%. Let me repeat what I said at the start: I wish, and will be happy, to be proven wrong. What a treat that could be. They have been ineffectual and destructive, but worst of all, boring.

This is not want most of us want to read, so let’s get positive, and for those who find the whole election thing a bother, simplify things by sharing a few thoughts on the parties on offer. Firstly I discarded tiny parties, except for one. The decision was to rule out any party that is:

  1. Unkind

  2. Deaf to browns

  3. White

  4. A One person show

  5. Racist

  6. Corrupt

Why these criteria?


I am a Bertrand Russell fan. He said whatever system one chooses, it is best to choose a kind one. I agree, hence number 1.


 Number 2, Deaf to browns is self-explanatory


White parties? I see a racial mix in most parties Whatever it says and does, the DA feels to me a pale party. If it weren’t, Mmusi Maimane and Lindiwe Mazibuko would still be there. FF+ falls under white for me, too, although they possibly listen to browns more than the other crowd. So, that’s number 3.

One Person Parties

Number 4 “One person show”. These are any parties I feel that are the work of one person, and fear will not function without that person. 


For me, any person that uses words (especially in the same sentence) such as ‘whites, coloureds, Indians, blacks” is racist. BEE is racist. Strangely, the DA comes out pretty will against this criterion. They have long advocated for scrapping these old, pointless words from policy, and we all know how they and business feel about BEE.


We all know this one. Think Zondo Commission 

Who gets the chop and why?

Getting straight to it, let’s kick them out against these criteria:

  1. Unkind: EFF, PA, DA, IFP

  2. Deaf to browns: ANC, DA, FF+

  3. White: DA, FF+

  4. One Person Shows: PA, Action SA, FF+, MK

  5. Racist: ANC, EFF, PA, MK, IFP

  6. Corrupt: ANC, EFF, MK

Let me go through them.


EFF: “Go out. Bloody agent. Kill the Boer”

PA: Mr McKenzie wants the death penalty, Ugh

DA: “Economic refugees” was not helpful. Zille could just as easily say “We welcome smarter workers with the initiative to seek work in a bigger job market”. She didn’t. Her “Reading for meaning” comment was insulting and unhelpful. Burning the flag, the one well-loved thing for all, is tone deaf, a poor end-game, maybe political hari-kiri.

IFP: Political murders in KZN

Brown Deaf

ANC: They don’t listen to anyone except themselves

DA: Palestine 

FF+: Vanselfsprekend


Enough said

One Person Shows

Will they get anywhere without …

 PA: Gayton McKenzie?

Action SA: Herman Mashaba?

FF+: Corne Mulder?


I like the straight shooting of Mr McKenzie, and Mr Mashaba, but the death penalty (PA) and making prisoners build their own prisons in the central Kalahari (Action SA) sound like insincere election promises. I also find Mr Mulder impressive and likable, but his party can’t quite make me jettison my fears of pungent broederbond days. They feel too secretive. I feel that what they aren’t saying is more important than what they are saying. Is Zille right that MK is an “uprising”? Possibly. MK appears to me a simple menacing ploy for a Zuma pardon, or some deal, from the ANC. Does a conviction strip him of his presidential pension? Careful now.

About One Man Bands, Prof Theo Venter recalls how wrong he was to write off the IFP many years ago as a one man party. He points out losing long time leader Buthelezi has not seen off the party, though it seemed all but gone for a while. I hope to be wrong about the three M’s Messrs McKenzie, Mashaba and Mulder. We need good people.


All the following parties commonly use the words ‘whites, coloureds, Indians, blacks’. If that is not racist, what is?

ANC: BEE is racist. That is a fact. Labour rules preventing coloureds from doing some jobs is pure evil. Kicked nearly every Indian out of the cabinet. Oops.

EFF: I have never met any person, of any persuasion, who thinks this party is anything but racist.

PA, MK, IFP all use racist dialogue, and want to continue to redress disadvantage on racial basis.

I can’t help feeling sorry for the DA. They absolutely do not want to redress disadvantage on race basis, and they’ve excised race from documentation. That said ‘Top of the brown-deaf polls’ locally has to go to them. The flag (thud). They preceded that with tone deafness as well as brown-deafness, with “Colonialism wasn’t … “ (fawoosh) and “economic refugees” (clang). Then, it was apparently thought that listening to their Muslim voters showed a need to support Israel in the Gaza tragedy (kaboom). The naked gun's final insult was the recent “Reading for meaning is not South Africa’s strong suit”. If anything tastes of “Us” and “them”, there you go.

They attract some really good people. Ian Cameron, who isn’t in the police, is arguably doing better already than the police minister. Chris Pappas impressed in a recent address to 10,000 people, and his isiZulu is a delight for a banana boy like me. However, to put that in perspective, 10,000, even though it appeared to fill a stadium, is not a huge crowd these days. The largest crowd that Sailor Malan’s Torch Commando attracted was 50,000, and that was in the 1950s. It took long years for the ANC to exceed the Torch Commando’s membership figure of 250,000, and the Torch Commando was a movement that promised nothing: it was a simple expression of resistance against bullying fascism. Speaking isiZulu is essential in Pappas’s context, and it is a lovely novelty. Most poor people, I have to say, speak enough of several languages, including my two, English and Afrikaans, so his isiZulu is more of a novelty for white people than I believe it should be. Still, I would love to be able to speak it like he does.

John Steenhuisen seems earnest and likable enough, but I walk away seeing him as the school teacher performing in the high school play, I don’t know why. Just me. Is it because he is given to drama? Things are “disastrous”, “apocalyptic”, “unthinkable”. Thanks, but I am tired enough already. I like Helen Zille, too, and hugely respect her analytical skills. Not many of us know SA better. So why do I walk away seeing her as a bristling something-ist? I don’t understand why, but I do. I like people telling it like it is. Zille is the only politico to finger Zuma’s MK party to be an uprising. Anyone who watched any footage of the July Insurrections, or delves into who was behind them, has to regard combative JZ vs lazy CR as an aberration, and Ms Zille got that right. JZ, if you like to read Asterix comics, is our own “Noxious Oderamus”. Nothing good can come out of that.


ANC: Arms deal, SAA, Transnet, Eskom, COVID … are you bored yet?


MK: JZ. Say no more.

Worth a Mention

RISE Mzansi and BOSA have attracted a lot of smart people. Despite lacking track records, of the “more of the same” parties they are worth watching. I particularly like Rise wanting to save R 5 billion or so by giving Blue Light Brigades a taste of their own medicine and kicking them in the slats.

Wrapping Up

So that’s my roundup. It’s

Sorri en koebaai”

to all of the catergorised parties – my simple take on General Elections 2024, except for one last thing. I can’t leave without an outlier.

An Outlier

In this election, that is the OHM, the Organic Humanity Movement. I am impressed. Here’s why:

I am not going to speak any more for them, save to say, if ever there were a grass-roots movement, this is it. They hung a poster opposite my rural hangout the other day, volunteers in a bakkie. Who would have thought? My sister hadn’t heard of them a week ago.

I could have ruled them out for being a One Person Show, but didn’t. Why? Because they are thought provoking, unusual and coherent. Their founder, Lauren Evanthia, a mother of four, got into politics to forge a better future for her children. Can anyone give a better motive? Add to that, she is a crystal clear speaker, rarely tries to gain time by saying “Um”, and has really thought systems through. Topping it all, she has a raging thirst for freedom, and aims to get government off our backs. I want liberty more than anything, but even that doesn’t top my list for why she impresses me. Her best thing, unequaled by any other in this election run, is her smile. Not only is it delightful, but it happens, and often, and is genuine. Even her partner is chuckling a bit these days. You would think, looking at the rest of the pack, that smiling is illegal. I have a feeling that one day, down the line, OHM will make voting fun for the first time ever.

Nuclear power is controversial. Parties avoid the subject for fear of losing votes. Not this one. I happen to agree with them about nuclear power, even though I have long been known as anti-nuke. It just so happens, thanks to the foresight of one JC Smuts, that we are the third nuclear country in the world (after the US and Great Britain), and are current leaders in Small Modular Reactor technology. The OHM founders know that the outfit in the video link are planning to build five reactors all over SA, and export eight. They will build them quicker than the ANC built Kusile and Medupi, and they won’t pay R85,000 for knee-guards. The big win for these new Small Modular Reactors is they need no water for cooling. Suddenly, the Karoo looks good for nuclear. Better than fracking, and anyway, Shell has just “fracked off”. OHM differs on nuclear scale. No Small Is Beautiful for that.

I agree with much of Ms Evanthia’s thinking. Parties are an old, boring and no longer workable solution, with pre-Union-of-South-Africa roots. They probably stem from the playing fields of Eton, or from Sandhurst military bigwigs. I don’t know, and don’t care. They bring out the worst in people. They belong firmly in the Postal Era, and you know what happened to SAPO: Their mission statement was Return To Sender. Despite IDAF and the Post Office between them being large factors in ending apartheid, the ANC seems to have discarded SAPO. Why? Limited opportunity to loot?

New, quicker ballot systems will be needed,. The paper era is dead. It’s time to move on to quicker and better, South African innovated voting systems, because parliament and voting suddenly got way more complex. We have so much IT talent out there. Two of our most remarkable talents, Mark Shuttleworth and Elon Musk, crafted secure money systems that are used worldwide. That is not to mention the odd operating system, spacecraft, electric vehicle, AI and robotic system. Back home, we boast a guy who wants similar money for “please-call-me”, something that I have used twice in my life, but is arguably a life saver for broke people in desperate need. Good luck to Mr Makate. I would “Robin Hood” Vodacom too: they are not short of money, but I hope someone comes up with something a lot more useful than that for such a fat payday next time. I really don’t rate #pleasecallme up there with SpaceX, Tesla and Ubuntu Linux. Hey, I’m not dissing him alone: I also don’t think much of the so-called talent of our country-wide posse of CEOs who earn annual bonuses of more than R 100 million apiece. Wrong! Sorry, not sorry.

There is so much systems scope, we can’t be held back waiting for the stage coach any longer. There are better travel, communications, voting, commuter, education, currency, medical, aviation, defence and as yet unforeseen systems out there, and they are all digital. Ok, this is not a competition, but Kenya and Nigeria are stifling innovation less than us. Instead of white bread, universal healthcare or grants, we could be voting for free internet. Total internet coverage and ample electricity will grow SA. Unlike the current sad offerings, these two will bring a return on investment.

Ms Evanthia is fairly vocal about education. When Max du Preez introduced “Of Lovers, Warriors and Prophets” he wrote that history he was taught in schools was a “boring pack of lies”. His book corrected a lot of that. Our school system is quite resilient. It should be: it was designed by Imperial England to provide canon fodder for kings and queens. That is not, however, only a strength. It is simply another boring fact. Apart from sports, our schools are about as interesting as cleaning our teeth with cigarette ash. Show me pupils dashing to school, with a raging hunger to re-immerse themselves in a subject.

I did my bit in the pandemic, teaching youngsters, from my patchy memory of matric, while school was out. Nothing much had changed in half a century. I will say this: the youngsters behaved beautifully, were smart and were a delight. I can’t say they were eager to learn their subjects: they weren’t, really. They were eager to learn a minimalist technique of passing exams. Maybe I was the same, and have conveniently forgotten.

Just as food and medicine are the front and back of the same plant, our school systems are the front and back of the same colonial cowpat. They don’t always teach us how to greet, talk to and get on with one another, they don’t teach us how to profit in business, nor to grow things, nor to fix a puncture (last time I looked, EVs use tyres too), and worst of all they don’t teach us to respect our First People, who make us the different people we are. I am betting on OHM for changing that too, down the line, in parly or not. Our schools are the best our white ancestors could come up with. It’s time to draw on some other old wisdoms, or maybe just meld what we have with the internet.

I agree with Ms Evanthia about the big parties, especially with the ANC having semi-criminally (my words, not hers) grabbed 90% of parliamentary party funding for themselves. She thinks that any vote for a small party is not a wasted vote. She points out that the top three control 90% of the seats in parliament. 

To hell with the big parties. They can look after themselves. Getting rid of them is the surest first step to freedom from party slavery. Small Is Beautiful. I agree.

The OHM gets my vote.