South Africa: Election Shows Many South Africans Losing Faith in ‘Pompous’ A.N.C. | The New York Times
A week before South Africa’s local elections on Wednesday, the Zithas held a family meeting inside their entertainment room to decide how to vote. Loyal backers of the African National Congress in every election since the end of apartheid, the family decided it was time for a change. Now, on a leisurely Sunday morning, as his wife and daughter got ready for church, Danny Zitha, 61, a former high school teacher, said the long-governing A.N.C. had left him disillusioned because of its corruption, arrogance and incompetence. He will never go back, he said. “Not at all, as long as I’m alive, sorry,” he said, adding with a laugh, “Maybe after death.” The A.N.C., which was the party of Nelson Mandela and helped free South Africa from white-minority rule, suffered its worst losses ever at the polls in the municipal elections last week. Unrivaled for the past two decades, the party lost control of two black-majority cities, including the capital, Pretoria, in what many believe is a profound change in how race and the legacy of apartheid influence South African politics. The party’s decline was especially steep in the biggest cities, with many black, middle-class voters in places like Chantelle, a suburb of Pretoria, turning against it. Twenty-two years after the end of apartheid, such voters appeared more concerned with mundane matters like good governance and taxes than with the party’s heroic liberation past.