Thursday, June 13, 2024

South Africa election: Mandela’s ANC loses 30-year parliamentary majority

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party is projected to lose its parliamentary majority after 30 years with more than 99 percent of votes counted on Saturday in the historic election.

ANC received about 40 percent vote in Wednesday’s election, leaving them short of the majority it had held since the famed all-race vote of 1994 that ended apartheid and brought it to power under Nelson Mandela. The ANC will be forced to form a coalition to govern South Africa.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), had 21.63 percent and uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a new party led by former president and ANC leader Jacob Zuma, managed to grab 14.71 percent – pulling away votes from the ANC.

Zuma – a fierce critic of current ANC leader and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa – was forced to resign as leader in 2018 and served a brief stint in jail in 2021 for contempt of court.

The 82-year-old was also banned from running for parliament last week after the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that five years must have elapsed since the completion of his sentence. However, his face remained on the ballot.

The final results are still to be formally declared by the independent Electoral Commission that ran the election, but the ANC cannot pass 50 per cent according to projections.

The ANC swept to power in 1994 on a pledge to “build a better life for all,” winning almost 63% of the vote in the country’s first democratic election.


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