As the Democratic Alliance (DA) prepares to march to ANC’s headquarters in Johannesburg on Wednesday, analysts are warning it was not a wise move.
The DA’s march was understood to be an attempt to demonstrate against rolling power cuts and latest electricity tariff increases, but political analyst Goodenough Mashego said the DA marching to the ANC’s headquarters showed the DA did not learn.
“The first time anyone marched to ANC headquarters, was in 1994 and many people ended up dead. ANC security guards killed people who marched to their security offices because they believed no one had a reason to march to their offices.”
Mashego quoted German philosopher Georg Hegel: “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”
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The DA was beginning a campaign of marches leading up to the national general ecetions in 2024. This was part of upgrading their profile, he claimed.
“Their profile is a bit down because of organisations such as those formed by former DA members Mmusi Maimane and Herman Mashaba.”
Mashego said this move was not wise because the DA also had members in parliament who sat on portfolio committees such as energy, where the problems of Eskom should really be solved.
“Eskom’s woes would not be solved by marching. Even marching to Megawatt Park (the power utility’s head office) would be a waste of time,” he said.
“Eskom is a political problem which will be solved through a political process and the political process will happen in the National Assembly where the DA sits as the opposition party.”
Political analyst Ntsikelelo Breakfast said the march looked like another publicity stunt.
It was important to note that while the ANC was in power, there was a difference between the state and the ANC as a political party, he said.
“There might be other people at Eskom who are not ANC members. There is just a miscalculation here.”
Breakfast said when one marched to the headquarters of a political party, it reflected some sort of attempt to convey a political message.
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However, DA national spokesperson Cilliers Brink said the march to Luthuli house was because of SA’s electricity crisis, engineered by the ANC and the ANC stood in the way of reforms which could resolve the energy crisis.
Brink said it was ANC cadre deployment and state capture which destroyed Eskom and it was ANC ministers such as Pravin Gordhan and Gwede Mantashe who held back the uptake of alternative electricity generation to mitigate and eventually end load shedding.
“Our strategy is to maximise public and political pressure at the point where it will make the most difference for ordinary people,” Brink said.
With possible chaos looming because of the march, Brink said the risk was assessed by the police and the Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD).
The DA complied with all conditions stipulated for the march to proceed.
“We also have private security in place to support the work of law enforcement and to ensure protestors are safe.
“In short, we have taken all the measures necessary to maximise the safety of protesters and people in the area,” Brink said.
“Our aim is a peaceful and orderly march which sends out a powerful message.
“The important point to make is, we live in a democracy, and we do not have ‘no go’ areas in this country.”
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