News / Africa

S. African Black Voters No Longer Interested in Liberation Credentials

FILE - A police officer tries to control ANC supporters as they attempt to confront members of the opposition Democratic Alliance party marching in central Johannesburg, February  2014.
FILE - A police officer tries to control ANC supporters as they attempt to confront members of the opposition Democratic Alliance party marching in central Johannesburg, February 2014.
During South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994, most blacks voted for the African National Congress because it was a black majority party and one that fought for their liberation. Twenty years later, however, there now are many black parties and the ANC's liberation credentials are slowly fading away as an attraction for voters. Black voters to find out what factors they will consider as they vote in elections next month.

Decades of segregation and discrimination united South African blacks against the apartheid government, and it led to a resounding victory for the African National Congress [ANC] during the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.

The ANC has always used its liberation credentials since then to win national elections. Continued poverty, however, and the increasing number of opposition parties -- especially those formed by disgruntled ANC members -- has rendered the party’s history increasingly irrelevant.

Jerry Tlopane, 64, has voted for the ANC since 1994. But now he accuses the party of turning against the poor and says it has made itself into a "gravy train" for a few of the politically elite. Tlopane said the ANC will not get his vote in the upcoming elections.

"I want the ANC to get a little punishment, so I don’t know how I am going to vote because this is a blank check. If I vote the ANC, I vote for these vultures, you know?" said Tlopane.

ANC defectors

Over the years, many disgruntled ANC members have left to form their own political parties. The latest is the Economic Freedom Fighters [EFF] formed by expelled ANC youth leader Julius Malema.

Kebby Sikhosana, an unemployed graduate, said he will be voting for the EFF because of its policies of expropriation of land without compensation and nationalization of banks.

"Imagine if people of South Africa had land and they own the banks so they could go and borrow from the bank to start businesses or to buy houses and build houses and will be charged like 5 percent interest rate or 2 percent interest rate, that will be affordable. Even the lady that is cleaning will be able to afford a decent house," said Sikhosana.

Corruption also has taken center stage in the 2014 elections.

Twenty-three-year-old Tholakele Malaza said she would rather not vote than support a corrupt party. "Corruption is one of the biggest threats to our democracy and I think, thank goodness, we have got the media landscape that is still allowed to expose this corruption and that we have got the Public Protector that is still allowed to call people on the things that they do."

Corruption charges

Even those still determined to vote for the ANC -- like mother of five, Nokubonga Kumenga, who received a free government house 10 years ago -- say the liberation history is no longer an attraction.

She said they look at the party’s service delivery record. As she put it, the ANC has provided them with houses, electricity, free health services and education for their children.

But others, like Ndumiso Mlilo, consider the integrity of party leaders before casting their vote. He said in that regard, the ANC will lose a lot of votes due to multiple allegations against party leader and South African President Jacob Zuma.

"Whether in trains, in bars or other public places, people always talk about Zuma as somebody who loves women, who loves corruption. Zuma is always associated with something which is dubious," said Mlilo.

Johannesburg-based political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said the ANC will win the coming elections, despite new choices for black voters.

"The problem, of course, is that the ANC is blessed with the gift of weak opposition, and South Africa is cursed with a weak and uncompetitive political party system," said Matshiqi.

Many believe that if the ANC wins, however, the margin of victory will be much thinner than at any time in the past.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Thbz from: Welkom
April 22, 2014 4:27 PM
Let the masses decide for themselves.I'll rather keep my vote than giving it to the hypocrites.


by: ZweNko from: Pmb
April 22, 2014 3:48 PM
Not voting for da ANC iz actually voting against yourself period. There will never be any alternative coz all these other toothless hve nothing to offer except blaming da ANC for anything. Tell da girl what u can offer her and stop badmouthing da other guy coz all what u do iz remind her of him.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid