Jacob Zuma’s ANC Loses Key City to Opposition

South Africa President Jacob Zuma(PHOTO: AFP)

South Africa President Jacob Zuma(PHOTO: Afrika-UPDATES)

“The fall in support has been dramatic, in levels never seen before,” political analyst told reporters.

Defeat in Port Elizabeth was a humiliating blow for the ANC as the municipality is officially known as “Nelson Mandela Bay” in tribute to its past as a hotbed of anti-apartheid activism. With the nationwide vote count almost complete, the ANC was ahead overall but recorded its worst electoral performance since white-minority rule fell 22 years ago.

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“We are now going to do an introspective look at ourselves … (Critics) think that we are arrogant, they think we are self-centred… I would like to dispute that and say we are a listening organisation.” said Cyril Ramaphosa, vice president of both the ANC and the country.

“The fall in support has been dramatic, in levels never seen before,” political analyst told reporters.

The party once headed by Nelson Mandela was on 54 percent of the vote — sharply down from 62 percent in the last municipal elections in 2011. On Friday, it conceded defeat to the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) in Port Elizabeth, an industrial city that was a key battleground of Wednesday’s election. The two parties were still in a close fight for Pretoria, the capital, and Johannesburg, the country’s economic centre, with the ANC set to lose its outright majorities in both cities.

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According to ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, the party had lost because the DA had managed to get its supporters to go out and vote.

“We looked at the nature of the dispute, and decided we should withdraw it and continue with our lives and accept that we have lost Nelson Mandela Bay.

“We are not happy about the turn out in ANC strongholds, we did not manage to get our people and our voters to come out in their thousands and vote.

“That explains the phenomenon of Nelson Mandela Bay. We have more wards there but we still lost Nelson Mandela Bay to the DA,” said Mthembu.

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Counting of votes in the local government elections will continue on Friday with Tshwane and Johannesburg remaining battlegrounds where the ANC and the DA were neck-and-neck.

While it appears to be shaken in some of the metros, the ANC remained significantly ahead across the country with an overall vote of 54,8 percent to the DA and EFF’s 26,51 percent 7,94 percent respectively.

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