South Africa' ruling African National Congress Party (ANC)
has dismissed as a joke a new poll which suggests the ruling party is running
neck and neck with the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) in urban areas. The
latest poll conducted by an independent newspaper ahead of next year's general
elections implies that growing discontentment after the forced resignation of
President Thabo Mbeki is hurting the ANC among urban South Africans. But the
ruling ANC rejected the poll as laughable. Some political observers, however,
believe that rifts within the rank and file of the ANC after the Polokwane
conference could threaten the cohesion of the party ahead of next year's
Ajulu is a political science professor in South Africa. He tells reporter Peter
Clottey from the capital, Pretoria that the new poll is questionable.
opinion about that poll is that that cannot be possibly true. There have been
similar polls in the run up to the general election, which predicted that the
ANC would face stiff challenge from the opposition Democratic Alliance. But the
DA didn't perform well and it came to nothing with the ANC getting nearly two
thirds percent. But beyond that I think the question that is probably more
pressing is how these polls, which are clearly inaccurate and based mainly on
perception are conducted," Ajulu said.
dismissed the latest poll as not credible.
is unbelievable; it is not possible by any consideration that the ANC and the
DA can be running neck to neck in urban areas in South Africa, it is actually
laughable. So, it sounds like a very bad joke. It is not possible because the
DA is a small party of about 10% of mainly white South Africans and ANC is a
party of 69%. It is not possible by any consideration that all of a sudden a
party of 69% is running neck and neck in a predominantly African population
electorate in the urban areas," he pointed out.
said although the controversy surrounding Mbeki's resignation might have dented
the internal political dynamics of the ANC, it would be largely extrapolated to
think that the opposition Democratic Alliance is challenging the ruling party
in the latest poll.
me put it this way and very clearly. However, much the ANC has been dented by
the events of the last two or three weeks, there is no possibility that the ANC
would be running neck and neck with the DA. The DA is a small white minority
party predominantly based on the white electorates. This is either a badly
conducted sample of polls or based on a very narrow sample," Ajulu said.
said there is enough time for the deep seated rift within the rank a file of
the ruling ANC to heal ahead of the election in April next year.
ANC has got six to seven months for the next elections and that is why in the
process of making a decision over Mbeki, the ANC was reluctant to call for a
quick election. Lets assume that they've got six to seven months to heal and
repair the rifts within the party, consolidate and prepare for the election.
The only other possibility if as it is said there is a split as in the ANC a
group of Mbeki supporters go in to form a new party, that could change the
situation, but even then it's too late for a new party to garner support," he
Meanwhile, some political
analysts say the survey of 1,500 city dwellers -- disproportionately white
and middle class -- by the Sunday Times newspaper does not represent the
broader public opinion. But the paper said the poll showed rising discontent
with the ANC after the ousting of Thabo Mbeki as president.
ANC has dominated South African politics since the end of apartheid but has
been damaged by bitter rivalry between Mbeki and party leader Jacob Zuma, the
presumed frontrunner to win next year's presidential election.