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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora