ANC suffers major polls defeat
SOUTH Africa’s ruling African National Congress suffered a historic defeat in the country’s capital, where it lost to the opposition Democratic Alliance in local polls, the electoral commission said.
Reacting to the worst election result for the party since the end of white-minority rule 22 years ago, President Jacob Zuma said voters had been heard.
“These elections were hotly contested. That is how it should be in a democracy,” said Mr Zuma, who is facing questions about his position after the elections.
In Tshwane, the metropolitan area that includes Pretoria, the DA won 43.1 percent of the vote over the ANC’s 41.2pc, according to final results.
The ANC also lost its majority in Johannesburg, the country’s economic centre, where it won 44.5pc of the vote, and will now have to seek political allies in order to retain control.
The election results have highlighted the declining popularity of the party that led South Africa’s antiapartheid struggle.
The setback to the ANC “happened quicker and harder than everyone thought. It’s a shocker for everyone,” said independent political analyst Ralph Mathekga.
The loss of Pretoria comes on top of the ANC conceding defeat on August 5 in Port Elizabeth, a key battleground of the municipal elections.
Defeat in Port Elizabeth, by a margin of 46.7 to 40pc, was a blow for the ruling party – the area is officially known as “Nelson Mandela Bay” after the former ANC leader. –
African National Congress and South African Communist Party supporters dance and sing in celebration at Wembezi township at the start of municipal elections on August 3.