Social media has widely shared former Ghanaian President John Mahama’s concession speech following his humbling defeat by his rival Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2016. The sharing of the speech is both timely and mischievous. It is timely in that it coincides with the outcome of our municipal elections. It is mischievous as it attempts to compare the response of President Cyril Ramaphosa to that of the erstwhile Ghanaian President. While Mahama is contrite, Ramaphosa comes across as petulant and in denial. Be that as it may, Mahama’s response to defeat provides valuable lessons for the ANC, or any party for that matter.
The first lesson is that the African voter, “though mainly uneducated and simple, is more sophisticated than we thought.” Losing parties must take to heart that voters are discerning individuals. Attempts to second guess their choice is insulting.
The second lesson is that “the success or failure of a leader depends on the kind of people he or she surrounds themselves with. The praise-singing sycophants who act on the dictates of their stomachs are only specialised at telling you what you want to hear.”
The third lesson, often overlooked, is that “not all those who criticised us hated us. Sometimes the best way to express your love for someone is to be critical of their actions.
For now the ANC is caught between a rock and a hard place. It has to choose between the DA and the EFF. For its part, while comfortable with Ramaphosa and his faction, the DA does not need the ANC. It can run the ANC through Ramaphosa. EFF presents a serious challenge for the ANC since it might be forced to implement the conference resolutions that it has so far thrown into the dustbin. Those that hold the financial strings have already expressed displeasure with such a notion.
Lastly, voter participation has been raised as a major concern. There is no guarantee that a rerun would turn huge numbers. If the party were to win a rerun against a lower voter participation, its victory will be hollow. There are too many risks involved in giving up on the negotiations.
In other news – Inside the official launch of Radio 7441 FM – Photos
COMMUNITY station, Radio 7441 FM officially launched on Saturday, 13 November after holding off for months.