Jacob Zuma’s handiwork! Low votes score may force South Africa’s leader to share power

Jacob Zuma’s handiwork! Low votes score may force South Africa’s leader to share power

Saturday, June 1, 2024 3:08 pm

Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Jacob Zuma as president in 2018 after a bitter power struggle

Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Jacob Zuma as president in 2018 after a bitter power struggle

This is the worse electoral performance by African National Congress (ANC) in 30 years. With its 40% score- down from 58% at the previous election- South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is under growing pressure after leading the ruling ANC to share power.

This, as BBC reported,  is lower than the party’s feared worse-case scenario of 45%, analysts say,

The ANC has always polled above 50% since the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, which saw Nelson Mandela become president.

How did it happen? Analysts are blaming Jacob Zuma, a former President. According to Ayo Ojeniyi, a Nigerian public affairs analyst,  “Shame on Jacob Zuma, after coming out of the Prison he pulled out of ANC to form MK which now pulls his people out of ANC just like what Peter Obi did in Nigeria by pulling the Igbo out of PDP.

“With 99% of Results Collated in South Africa, the result is summarized:

The final election results for South Africa in 2024 are not yet announced, but here are some key points from the partial results

– The ANC will lose its majority and will be forced to look for coalition partners probably with MK formed by their man, Jacob Zuma.

– The ANC is currently leading with just over 40% share of the national vote.

– The Democratic Alliance (DA) is the country’s principal opposition party.

– The DA is currently in second place at 22% followed by the MK party at 15% and EFF at 9% IFP at 4%

– The ANC is ahead in seven out of South Africa’s nine provinces.

– The IEC says it will announce the election results on Sunday.”

If Jacob Zuma did not pull out, ANC could have retained the majority.”

BBC reported further: “But support for the party has been dropping significantly due to anger over high levels of corruption, unemployment and crime.

Citing the cost-of-living crisis and frequent power-cuts, a woman told the BBC she ended a 30 year voting streak for the ANC in favour of the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA) this time.

“This result is not good. I wanted it out of government. We need to give someone else a chance,” she said

The final results will be announced at 18:00 local time (17:00 BST) on Sunday, the BBC understands.

The ANC leadership has begun to consult internally to prepare for complex coalition talks.

Its options are the DA, which is in second place on 22%, the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party led by former President Jacob Zuma, on 15%, or the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 9%.

Both the EFF and MK advocate seizing white-owned land and nationalising the country’s mines.

The MK has said it would be prepared to work with the ANC, but not while it was led by Mr Ramaphosa.

He replaced Mr Zuma as both president and ANC leader following a bitter power struggle in 2018.

MK supporters have been celebrating overnight in Durban, the biggest city in the party’s heartland of KwaZulu-Natal province. The party was only formed in December.

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe said his party was unlikely to form an alliance with the DA.

He said there would have to be “policy alignment” between parties to form a coalition agreement.

For the ANC, its black empowerment policies – aimed at giving black people a stake in the economy following their exclusion during the racist apartheid era – were “non-negotiable”.

He added that any coalition partner would have to agree to the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, which promises universal health care for all, signed into law earlier this month.

The DA opposes both the NHI and the ANC’s black empowerment policies.

Despite the ANC’s reluctance to align with the DA, its leader John Steenhuisen hasn’t ruled out the idea.

But if an alliance with the ANC was reached there would be a few non-negotiables, he said.

“Respect for the rule of law and the constitution, a social market economy that treats the private sector as partners in the growth agenda.

“Zero tolerance for corruption and cadre deployment, and an absolute laser-like focus on economic policies that grow jobs.”

Mr Steenhuisen also told the BBC he would have to consult pre-election coalition partners before considering any negotiations.

But he ruled out the EFF and the MK party as potential coalition partners.

“I think instability is not in the best interest of the country. A coalition with the radical left in South Africa of the MK party and the EFF will produce the same policies that destroyed Zimbabwe, destroyed Venezuela,” he said.

Another option would be to work with the EFF, led by Julius Malema, a former ANC youth leader. The two parties currently form the coalition that runs the country’s biggest city, Johannesburg.

A record 70 parties and 11 independents were running, with South Africans voting for a new parliament and nine provincial legislatures.

The DA has signed a pact with 10 of them, agreeing to form a coalition government if they get enough votes to dislodge the ANC from power.

But this does not include the EFF or MK, who would be needed to form a majority.

As the parties scramble to form alliances, Kenya’s former President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is leading the African Union election observer mission in South Africa, offered some advice for forming coalitions.

He said coalition governments need to focus on areas of agreement instead of differences.

“I can only wish them well and hope that the leadership will take this decision by the people in a positive frame,” he said.


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