By Andile Mngxitama
The launch of Dr Makhosi Khoza’s party, African Democratic Change, has officially announced the arrival of fake politics in South Africa. Dr Khoza has brazenly plagiarized a replica of the logo of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC). We are in the copy and paste politics of fake ideologies, proper. These politics of copying a real political party at its core by just effecting cosmetic changes to its brand so as to scavenge on the popularity of the original party is real. A few charlatans have seen the benefits of these copy and paste politics. The phenomenal success of the African Independent Congress (AIC) has inspired the fakers. The AIC has benefited immensely from infringements of the copyright law relating to the rights of the ANC.
Dr Khoza’s brazen plagiarism of the ANC’s logo must be seen as the official arrival of “doubles” in our political scene. In the era of car hijacking, it was common to have up to three cars with the same registration number on the roads. The stolen “twin” was given the registration credentials of the original car. We are witnessing the hijacking of the brands of established political parties by parasitical forces that want to reap where they didn’t sow.
Perhaps the advent of the AIC was a genuine mistake. Furthermore, the AIC was very lucky that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) allowed it to register. It boggles the mind as to how the ANC allowed such prejudicial chopping of its brand to happen. Dr Khoza calls her party the African Democratic Change (ADC). See how close the look of the acronym “ADC” is to the ANC? Add to that the similarities between the logo of the ADC and the ANC – you have a nice blatant case of brand hijacking. Again, it would seem that the ANC is sleeping on the job.
The ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, is deep to his neck with factional battles to even care about protecting the ANC brand.
This identity theft has also hit Black First Land First (BLF). There is a charlatan who has not just replicated the insignia of BLF, he has also copied its motto. The BLF motto is “Land or Death”. The faker has cast the motto of his “organization” as “Black Power or Death”. The identity hijackers wish to reap the benefits of mistaken identity. We have seen through the experience between the ANC and the AIC just how devastating the damage to the original party can be.
The irony of Dr Khoza’s theft of the ANC brand is that she claims to stand for anti-corruption yet her party is based on a stolen identity. This is indicative of a strange phenomenon in South Africa where the corrupt are fighting corruption. The emergence of doubles in our politics is real.
Beware, the charlatans are out there to confuse you and steal your votes. Nothing is safe now, even the identities of political parties are at risk. Stealing without shame is the new hegemonic ideology.