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'Silly' statements part of electioneering

Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement about Almighty God regarding the elections has been described as silly.

Businessman and ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sapa

CAPE TOWN - A political analyst says political parties are bound to make silly statements ahead of the general elections.

Over the weekend, ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the ANC manifesto in Atteridgeville.

Ramaphosa reportedly told the crowd that the Almighty God and the ancestors wanted every South African to vote for the ANC in the upcoming general elections.

He also took a swipe at opposition parties saying, "the ANC is here to win this election whether you like it or not".

He also praised the party's manifesto, saying it was not empty promises.

During an 8 January statement, President Jacob Zuma also told a crowd that the ANC would rule South Africa "forever and ever."

Speaking to the Midday Report, political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi commented on Ramaphosa's statement about God,

"That is obviously silly. Every election has its silly statements and this year's election is not going to be any exception. You can expect that not only the ANC but leaders of other parties too will engage in similar silliness."

Matshiqi said there is no evidence to suggest the ANC was losing support.

"In terms of electoral support the ANC peaked in 2004 when the garnered about 70 percent of the national popular vote. There are those who argue that the ANC will fall below 60 percent. It is not clear to me where those votes will go to. I am therefore not persuaded, until there's evidence to this effect, that the ANC will fall below 50 percent in this election."

He added that most voters did not read party manifestos.

"The vast majority of voters are not going to read the ANC's manifesto, or the manifesto of any other political party for that matter. That's why it must be reinforced with populist statements such as those that were made by the deputy president of the ANC this weekend."

Matshiqi also said the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) would not win the elections.

"There is going to be a contest between the EFF and the ANC, but let's not exaggerate the contest. I think the EFF will be the third largest party after this election. But it's not going to be as credible a challenger as some of us assume. But as far as political marketing is concerned they've done better than some of the other political parties."

Meanwhile, the EFF maintains it is the government in waiting as it believes it will come out victorious in the upcoming general elections.

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