Editorial Comment In The News

DA is parking the bus

Winning is about getting the tactics right. Sometimes you park the bus, but what use is parking the bus when you score own goals?

Last night Bidvest Wits won the PSL title. They did it because over the course of many months they consistently got the results they needed. That is indisputable.

However, sometimes in soccer, tactics take a different turn. Sometimes the opponent is very powerful and the coach decides to nullify their strengths. The Special One, Jose Mourinho, is renowned for getting results. He has won the Champions League for different teams and often it is not pretty. Not pretty but effective.

In essence, Mourinho knows how to park the bus. Let’s presume it is a Champions League semifinal. Who remembers Inter Milan versus Barcelona in the semifinals stage seven years ago? Inter played at home, got their goals, then boarded a flight to Spain and parked the bus. Mourinho knew that Barca at home would be the most incisive team he could possibly face. He had to use their strength against them. He basically had to prevent them from doing what they are supposed to do by using sportsmanship to wind down the clock to their ultimate demise.

The DA banks on 11 men behind the ball

The DA seems to have taken a leaf out of Mourinho’s book. The ANC is a giant. It has the overwhelming mandate of the people, and no motion put forward in Parliament can succeed if the ANC votes against it as a block – which is to be expected, otherwise why have proportional representation?

The DA has studied the South African landscape and decided that their way of parking the bus is by using the courts to literally deflect and stop every move the President, as deployed by the ANC, attempts to make. What happens with court cases? They drag on and take forever. In essence, the DA parks the bus and winds down the clock, preventing President Zuma and the ANC from moving forward (or so they hope).

But we all know soccer, right? We all know what the risks are when you park the bus. The game where Mourinho’s Inter knocked out Barca ended with Barcelona scoring a goal. What if it was more? Often the team that gambles on parking the bus gets undone because if the stronger team scores a goal, the team that was parking the bus are forced out of defending to get the equaliser and when they open up then they are punished.

The DA has a flat wheel

So, will the DA’s tactics of parking the bus on the ANC government work? Well, we need to look at the bus itself. Helen Zille and Mbali Ntuli make things complicated. The furore surrounding Helen Zille’s tweets and endless capacity for exposing herself was bad enough, but the controversy surrounding the charges Ntuli face, while Zille still tweets with reckless abandon, can be seen as nothing more than a burst tyre! A bus can go nowhere when it has a flat wheel.

The DA may find itself in the tactical driving seat as it works to use the courts to paralyse the ANC, but no matter how bad the ANC is hurt as the clock winds down, what good will it do when it comes time to move the bus? The DA is underestimating the untold damage the race relations within its own party is causing. It’s the old case of don’t throw stones if you are in a glass house.

If the DA had any ambitions of capitalising on whatever divisions it could possibly sow within the ANC, those appear to have dissipated because they have received too many red cards in their own half, and scored too many own goals, to even think about scoring at the other end in 2019.

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