COPE, ANC and the public wranglings (2)
I went home to a little town called Fort Beaufort this past December. Yes, it is a weird Eastern Cape thing that most of us leave Jozi and made the long trip to that big mismanaged provice. But this is not a post about migrancy. It’s about COPE and the ANC and little developments in that small town, which I hear are being played out in many other towns.
Firstly, I was struck by how many people were wearing political t-shirts around Christmas time. There are always some people wearing political t-shirts at any given time. But the Festive Season usually has people either too dressed up or too hot to draw more heat to themselves.
Not this December. Standing in a queue for the FNB ATM for my mother who’d just has a back op, I count three political t-shirts out of 10 people in line. One says something along the lines of: MK, my ANC, my choice, my … (something else which now escapes me). Fair enough. One other person is wearing a bland ANC t-shirt from previous elections. The third person is wearing a read COPE t-shirt with that awful wheel like logo that always makes me a little nervous. Why? It reminds me of a windmill and then I end up in Holland. Don’t ask me about the strangeness of random associations.
This was repeated I went. Sometimes there were more COPE t-shirts than ANC t-shirts. Once or twice there was a yellow DA t-shirt.
To compound the strangeness was the fact that everytime a COPE lorry went around town with a loud speaker, a few minutes later an ANC lorry would go in the same direction. I know it is electioneering time, but what kind of madness was this in 36 degree heat at Christmas time?
Given that the ANC is the party in power, why is it following COPE? Over the last few months, COPE has been setting the agenda, and the ANC responding. This would worry me a more than a little as the ANC. Incidentally, there was a small DA gig in town at some point as well, but nobody really bothers with that except for the 50 people at the event.
I do hope that the exchanges between COPE and the ANC stay this side of the law, even if the bounds of civility were transgressed months ago. I know that people stayed away from each other’s parties, mcimbis and weddings because old friends and families were now on different sides of the COPE/ANC divide.
Interesting times lie ahead.