Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Hannibal Elector - Welcome to Fantasia - the ANC Manifesto Endorsement and the Reality Left Behind

analysis

Photo: Westcapenews
ANC supporters at a rally (file photo).

Any ANC event this late in the election cycle is a study in the unreal. At the Gauteng Manifesto endorsement, where "notables" came to blather on about how amazing the ruling party is, the real South Africa did not stand up. That's because it wasn't invited.

I have just visited to the Selfie Capital of the Universe. I witnessed roughly 1,200 South Africans in their business best stretching out their arms and snapping away, each click of a camera phone forging a digital bond that confirmed a political affiliation that, if all goes well, would one day lead to a business opportunity. This was the Gauteng ANC Manifesto Endorsement reach-around, where the faithful gathered to pay fealty before the Iron Throne, a sort of ANC speed-dating event that engulfed the fifth floor of the Sandton Convention Centre with faux excitement.

The joint was full of people who used to be called Black Diamonds, but are now called "rich". The ANC, we forget, is a broad church, and broader still when there are networking opportunities available. The smell of power hovered in the air like Cohiba smoke, and while the EFF were inhaling exhaust fumes on a protest...

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