April 27, 2009

Zuma's Mandate Is a Poisoned Chalice

William Gumede, The Guardian

AP Photo

The mandate, just short of a two-thirds majority of the vote in last week's elections, given to South Africa's ruling African National Congress, is a poisoned chalice. It is clear that the election of Jacob Zuma as ANC leader in 2007 has energised South Africa's electorate. Voter turnout was more than 70% in this election. Some white South Africans, who seemingly gave up on politics after the loss of political power in 1994, have returned. Many appear to have voted to prevent Zuma's ascendancy, by casting their ballot for the traditionally white Democratic Alliance (DA) or the Congress of the People (Cope), the party formed by ANC dissidents last year.

Many middle-class black people, also opposed to Zuma, have broken their allegiance to the ANC and voted for Cope. But poor...

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TAGGED: Jacob Zuma, South Africa, African National Congress, Africa


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