“Fed up with the ANC”: voters inflict an unprecedented setback on Mandela’s party

“The ANC is groggy, but not KO.” The party in power since 1994 in South Africa suffered a scathing disavowal from voters during the legislative elections held on May 29, while remaining the leading political party in the country, sums it up DailyMaverick.

According to almost complete results, the African National Congress (ANC), “associated by many South Africans with the advent of freedom and democracy”received 40.2% of the votes. “This represents a drop of 17 points compared to the last election”held in 2019, calculates the Johannesburg daily.

“A moment as seismic as it is delicate”

Its absolute majority having evaporated, the party formerly led by Nelson Mandela will therefore have to negotiate with competitors with a view to creating a government coalition. The Democratic Alliance (DA), the country’s second political force, has at this stage gleaned 22% of the votes, compared to 15% for Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), led by former South African president and ex-ANC member Jacob Zuma.

South Africa in 10 essential dates

May 31, 1910: Then under British rule, the Union of South Africa was created.

January 8, 1912: Creation of the African National Congress (ANC). The first segregationist laws were put in place at the national level.

1949-1954: Institutionalization of white supremacy and apartheid.

March 21, 1960: Sharpeville Massacre. Police repression of a peaceful demonstration leaves 69 dead and nearly 200 injured. Faced with the ensuing demonstrations, the government declared a state of emergency and banned the ANC.

May 31, 1961: Beginning of the ANC armed struggle.

1963-1964: Trial of Nelson Mandela after which he was sentenced to life imprisonment for terrorism.

February 2, 1990: Legalization of the ANC. Nelson Mandela is released on February 11.

June 30, 1991: Abolition of the last apartheid laws.

April 27, 1994: The country’s first multiracial elections, won by the ANC.

May 10, 1994: Nelson Mandela becomes South Africa’s first black president. A multiracial government is appointed.

International mail

“The face of politics in South Africa has just changed forever, highlights the everyday Mail & Guardian, Saturday June 1, in Johannesburg. This is a moment as seismic as it is delicate for democracy. On the right, on the left, and especially within the middle class, people demanded an end to the domination of the ANC. Here we are.”

Give others a chance

The electoral base of the party of Cyril Ramaphosa, head of state since 2018, has crumbled under the weight of corruption cases and poor economic results recorded in recent years. “Persistent unemployment and repeated power cuts symbolize the governance of the country under the ANC”, deplores the DailyMaverick. Many ANC faithful therefore preferred to stay at home, as in the stronghold of Soweto, where participation was expected to be declining.

Others would have even preferred an even heavier defeat, reports the BBC. A party voter for 30 years, met by the British public service media, confided on Saturday that she was fed up with “the ANC, the ANC, the ANC”. Citing the life crisis and anti-Covid measures “who caused people to lose their jobs”the Johannesburg resident chose to entrust her vote to the DA. “This result is not good enough. I wanted the ANC to no longer be in government. You have to give someone else a chance.”

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