The opposition Congress of the People
(COPE) has vowed to win South Africa's April 22 general election despite the
overwhelming support the ruling African National Congress (ANC) enjoys ahead of
the election. COPE said ordinary South Africans are aware of the ANC's failed
promises and dashed hopes and are calling for change in the upcoming election.
The party also warned that a landslide win for the ruling ANC in next week's
election would be one more step towards one-party dominance that has ruined
many African countries. But the ANC dismissed the accusation as a calculated
face-saving tactic knowing how bad the opposition will perform in the election.
COPE spokesman Philip Dexter tells reporter Peter Clottey his party is in the
election to win.
you know, we as a party are in this election to fighting it and winning it and
that is what we believe we can do. And we believe we have a strong chance of
being the future governing party," Dexter pointed out.
said South Africans have lost faith with the ruling African National Congress
think most South Africans are fed up with the ANC's ineptitude, its inability
to fix things, the corruption that goes with it and I think it is quite clear
that we've seen certainly in the last few weeks President Zuma admitting that
the ANC has committed terrible mistakes in the past. Now, it is all very well
to say that, but since he was part of that government and since he was part of
the executive and no one expects him to do any better. So, quite clearly South
Africans are looking for change and that change we believe will come in the way
of what COPE has to offer," he said.
dismissed as unfortunate assertions that his party COPE would be unable to
challenge the ruling ANC party's two–thirds majority in parliament in next
are in this election to win and we think that we will be the future government
of this country and we do not expect the ANC to win," Dexter noted.
said the formation of the breakaway COPE is sending shivers down the spine of
to the formation of COPE, the possibility existed that the CN would win more
than two thirds majority and would want to change the constitution in a very
authoritarian way. But that is not possible and one of the reasons why people
must vote for COPE is to ensure that that doesn't happen," he said.
observers say despite the anticipated stiff challenge the opposition parties,
including the Democratic Alliance and COPE are supposed to give the ruling
party in next week's election, the ANC is expected to win the election. But
there are skeptics who believe COPE would undermine the success of the ANC in
the election thereby thwarting the ruling party's two- thirds majority in
opposition COPE party was formed by disgruntled members of the ANC who felt
former South African President Thabo Mbeki was forced to step down. Mbeki was
alleged to have politically influenced the graft charges against ANC president
The National Prosecuting Authority this month decided to
drop graft charges against Zuma, a decision which is expected to boost the
ANC's chances in next week's general election. But some South Africans say the
NPA's decision to drop the eight-year-old corruption charges against Zuma on a
technicality gives ammunition to the ANC leader's critics who say the ruling
party has a dangerous grip on nearly every aspect of public life, including the
civil service and judiciary.
The dropping of the charges was sharply condemned by
opposition parties who vowed to seek legal counsel about the charges being
dropped against Zuma.
supporters maintained that the eight-year old graft charges against him were
politically motivated to prevent him from becoming South Africa's next
is widely tipped to be South Africa's president after the election due to the
overwhelming support his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party enjoys
among ordinary South Africans.
Africans living overseas voted
Wednesday, a week ahead of elections likely to usher in five more years of the
ruling African National Congress led by Jacob Zuma. Some South Africans however
fear the ANC's stranglehold on power is raising fears of a slide towards
permanent one-party state.