Peter van der Merwe
Peter van der Merwe

Here’s why I’m angry with Cope

Hi, my name is Peter, and I voted for Cope in the last elections.

And now I’m angry. Hopping, spitting, bang-my-head-against-the-wall angry. Not because I was gullible enough to believe Cope could provide a feasible alternative. Not because Cope effectively stole my vote and then proceeded to gleefully trample all over it. Not because the antics of Mbhazima Shilowa, Mosiuoa Lekota and their cronies make the ANC Youth League look almost grown-up by comparison.

No, I’m angry because they took away my choices.

There’s a municipal election coming up, and I fully intend to exercise my vote. I have never missed the opportunity to vote, and I don’t intend to. I think it is a thrill, a responsibility and a privilege that should not be wasted or taken lightly.

Problem is, I don’t have many choices when it comes to drawing my X. The ANC? Please. The current government has refined state criminality, cronyism and corruption to an art form. It allows the spending of R100 million on a youth congress where drunken idiots spend their time — and my money — fighting over lunch packs and playing spin the bottle, while hundreds of thousands of South Africans live below the breadline.

Any idea how many houses R100 million would build, Bra Jacob? Or how many hungry school kids it would feed? Or how many adult literacy programs it would keep afloat? No, I didn’t think so. Because your priorities suck, and you don’t give a tinker’s cuss. You offer people heaven for their votes, but for many of them, their reality is a hell of pit latrines, unemployment and despair. So don’t even phone me this time round, ANC. I’m not interested.

How about the DA, you ask. Well, how about them, indeed. Just because I’m white and middle-class myself doesn’t mean I want to be part of a party whose thinking is largely white and middle-class, and whose stock-in-trade is the reactive, screechy tirade. Sure, South Africa needs a strong opposition. I’m just not sure it’s going to get it in the DA — well, not until the DA becomes a whole lot more credible to a whole lot more South Africans.

What does that leave us? The ACDP, whose esteemed leader thinks Laurent Gbagbo is the legitimate leader of the Ivory Coast? The FF, whose leader sold out his principles and his people to get his own bum in the butter? The IFP or the UDM, which exist but to venerate a couple of the great dinosaurs of apartheid politics? One of the IFP’s opportunistic offshoots?

That’s why I’m angry, Cope. You had a chance to make a difference. You gave me a choice. And then you yanked it away by showing yourselves to be nothing but loathsome, power-hungry, backstabbing, self-serving bottom feeders.

So I can’t tell you who I’ll be voting for in the coming elections. But I do know who I won’t be voting for. Can you cope with that?