“a new beginning, a new agenda, a new hope for the country..”

The early signs of emerging political competition for the ANC in South Africa look to be solidifying into a new political party. Independents aligned to the breakaway faction “won 10 out of 27 seats previously held by the ruling party in the Western Cape provincial byelections” and Pretoria High Court has rejected an ANC attempt to prevent the faction from using the Congress of the People (COPE) as their party name.

The decision by the Pretoria High Court came just two days before COPE supporters were due to meet in Bloemfontein to choose a leader and set out the party’s policies and strategy for general elections, which are expected in March 2009. The new party has not yet formally endorsed a programme, but it has hinted strongly it will adopt centrist, pro-business policies similar to those pursued by Mr Mbeki during his nine years in office.

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  • Apparently a very low turn out plus the ANC was not able to contest the eight wards in the City of Cape Town, nor four wards in the Cederberg area because it had not submitted its candidate list to the Independent Electoral Commission on time.

    Far to early to judge whether COPE will gain legs, although big business to throwing money at it by the bucketful. Although why anyone would wish a rerun of Thabo Mbeki period in office is beyond me.

  • Rory Carr

    Well, well. Much as I predicted the last time we had a look at South African politics which was, if my recollection is good, when Mbeki lost hold of the ANC. A new party that might use some of the credibility of the ANC struggle yet be as willingly subservient to big capital as black South Africans formerly were obliged to be to Bwana was inevitable.

    The breakaway faction that has taken Bwana’s gold to form the new COPE party will have taken care nevertheless to leave a rearguard behind within the ANC to create dissension and division in an attempt to destabilise that party in order to aid its own success in selling their brethren down the river.

    Now the real fight for African freedom and dignity begins. The fight for and against apartheid was merely a prolonged bout of skirmishing, a probing of the other’s strengths and weaknesses.

    **Submit password is “zebra” Spooky!