WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
It is probably to be expected, but there is little beyond election news out there at the moment (even the rest of the world has gone quiet). The pollsters have been rushing out their final predictions but they are pretty inconsistent so it is difficult to draw any conclusions. Perhaps the most startling in the past few days came from the Institute for Race Relations (IRR) which suggested on Monday that the ANC would drop to 53% of the national vote (from 62% in 2014) at an expected 70% turnout.
Its most surprising finding was that the party may go below 50% in its KZN stronghold – 48% or 49% (from 64.5%). But this morning Ipsos issued its final predictions and has the ANC at 61% nationally on a 71% turnout. It suggests that the DA will drop to 19% (down from 22%) of the vote and the EFF rise to 11% (up from 6%). Ipsos adds that ‘it is unlikely that the DA will win the three provinces they set out to do (namely the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng), but the Western Cape is within reach (although they might need a coalition partner to form a government)’. It adds that the EFF is likely to be the official opposition in Limpopo and North West and possibly in the Free State and Mpumalanga.
The ANC has returned the R1-million election donation given to it on Sunday by Independent Media proprietor Iqbal Survé. Khaya Magaxa, acting chair of the party in the province, explained that it did thorough assessments before accepting campaign donations. ‘Due to the fact that this happened a mere three days before the election, we had not time to do such an assessment to consider how such a donation would be perceived given the revelations of the made at the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC)’. Survé’s relationship with former PIC boss Dan Matjila and loans he received from the fund manager have been under scrutiny at the commission. Survé said on Sunday the company did not want ‘anything in return (for the donation). It is very important that our support is unconditional’. But he did call a press conference to make the announcement.
Meanwhile, in more election news …
Here are the main election/political developments since yesterday:
- Police arrested six people in Ganyesa, North West, for torching an electoral officer’s car as special votes opened yesterday;
- Police Minister Bheki Cele has announced that SA National Defence Force troops will be deployed to KZN and North West on election day in addition to police. KZN has recently been the scene of several political killings and North West residents have threatened to protest tomorrow.
- The Black First Land First (BLF) party says it will not be apologising for its ‘Land or Death’ slogan after being ordered to do so by the Equality Court. The party’s deputy president (yes, they do have two members) said the slogan was protected by the freedom of expression clause in the Constitution and it would take the ruling on appeal.