Luthuli House in South Africa trended for the better part of Wednesday, January 25 and unlike the street based in Nairobi’s Central Business District, it was not for business reasons.
A spot check by Kenyans.co.ke established that Luthuli House in Johannesburg was at the centre of a fierce political battle.
The building hosts the national headquarters of the ruling party, African National Congress (ANC) and was named after Chief Albert John Luthuli.
An image of Luthuli House in South Africa.
South African History Luthuli was a renowned politician who boldly fought against apartheid and doubled as the ANC President-General from 1952 until his demise in 1967.
On Wednesday, the building was set for a fierce political showdown as the ruling party came under sharp criticism from the opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Opposition leader John Steenhuisen led a mass march to Luthuli House to demonstrate against President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government, which they claimed had taken the country down the drain.
Steenhuisen demanded Ramaphosa address a number of key issues including the rampant blackouts that have hit most parts of the county amid the increased cost of electricity.
The opposition further protested the high cost of living, the widespread levels of graft in the government, and the high level of unemployment.
In addition, the DA accused the state of deteriorating the country’s infrastructure and spoke sharply against the cadre deployment which ensures ANC has loyalists in several state offices.
However, the group was met by ruling party supporters who vowed not to let the opposition through.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe insisted that the party would not receive any memorandum from DA and that they would defend the party’s headquarters.
The events in South Africa hit home harder with more than one striking similarity. Just like Ramaphosa, President William Ruto faces the same challenge from Azimio.
On January 25, Azimio chief Raila Odinga declared that he did not recognise Ruto and made a series of pronouncements including asking the government to address the cost of living.
Odinga also asked Ruto’s administration to also address the high level of unemployment, and the partial appointment of persons to lead various state offices.
Should the strife between the two escalate, it could potentially stop Kenyans from enjoying visa-free travel to South Africa.
Kenya and South Africa enjoy cordial bilateral ties with a number of similarities. In Sunninghill for instance, a majority of the streets, roads and lanes have Kenyan names.
Common roads are Nanyuki, Naivasha, Tana, Kikuyu and Malindi Roads. Other are Nakuru, Kisumu, Tana, Tiati, Embu, Kitui, Tambach, Nyeri, Diani, Kapiti, Kilindini, Watamu and Thika Roads.
President William Ruto and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday, November 9, witnessed the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) at State House.