April 23, 2009
South Africans Vote
South Africans voted for party and president yesterday, and though the ANC is going to maintain its 15-year hold on power in SA post-apartheid, it is unclear whether the party will gain a 2/3 majority necessary to change the constitution. It will also take at least a few days to determine whether the results indicate shifts that may lead to significant change in the 2014 elections and beyond.
There was hope among the many unhappy with the ANC that a breakaway party, Congress of the People (COPE), would offer a strong alternative. Infighting and poor leadership extinguished that, but there is reason to believe that demographic changes are substantive and point to the future.
More when results are in, but in the meantime there may be stories that report the continuation of one-party rule and highlight the compromised nature of Jacob Zuma, corruption and rape charges and tribalism. There is truth to this, but the country is only 15 years removed from totalitarian rule, and alternatives are slow to emerge to the ANC, which is still rightfully seen as the deliverer from the wilderness.
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