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South Africa - 2014 Election

The ANC held its national conference in Mangaung in December 2012, where Zuma was re-elected to the ANC presidency. Presidential elections would take place in South Africa in 2014. Zuma was elected to the ANC presidency in December 2007 and was scheduled to serve a five year term as party leader; he was named national leader when the party won the election in April. He had said he will serve only one term, but that was called into question by a number of political leaders and allies who wanted to see him stay on.

The party slate for 2014 included a new deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is a trade-union leader turned businessman. In 2011, he took over all South Africa's McDonalds franchises. ANC-affiliated business magnates Ramaphosa is a former Secretary General of the ANC and a former Member of Parliament. Ramaphosa possesses the necessary background and attributes to lead the country, but Ramaphosa was extremely bitter when Mbeki stepped ahead of him to become South Africa's Deputy President in 1994 -- especially since Ramaphosa led the transition talks and Nelson Mandela himself wanted Ramaphosa as deputy. Ramaphosa was so annoyed by the slight that he declined to serve in the Mandela administration, and even refused to attend Mandela's inauguration. This behavior was seen as "unbecoming," "nakedly ambitious," and "very un-ANC," and continued to haunt Ramaphosa's candidacy for ANC president.

In June 2013 expelled ANC Youth League member Julius Malema said he planned to launch a political party. This followed a new party led by former anti-apartheid fighters that announced its formation in April 2013. South African activist and anti-apartheid stalwart Mamphela Ramphele will launch yet a third party, called Agang, in July 2013. The aims of Malemas future party are clear. He said he wants to "restore the dignity of blacks" and lead an "onslaught against a white male monopoly capital" in a nation that still bears deep scars after the end of apartheid. He said he intends to achieve that by nationalizing mines and redistributing land without compensation.

The new parties had more than just the ANC to worry about. Since none has the resources or organization to beat the large, well-organized ANC, their real competition is each other. The opposition parties would be fishing for votes in the same pool because very few of them had distinguished themselves to such an extent that theyre appealing to particular and specific constituencies in the South African polity.

South Africa's best-known firebrand politician, Julius Malema, launched his own political party in October 2013. Expelled as the youth leader of the ruling African National Congress in 2012, Malema vowed to defeat ANC stalwart President Jacob Zuma in the 2014 elections. Malema was once considered Zumas protg and had memorably said he would "kill for Zuma." Supporters of the new party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), were already celebrating what they hoped will be a big victory in the elections. The party could win enough seats in parliament to make the EFF a governing political party at the provincial level.

Malema warned white South Africans who obtained land during the colonial period, to return it to the indigenous blacks, or forget about reconciliation. You are not ashamed for having stolen our land. You want us to come to you and kneel before you to ask for the land of our ancestors. We are not going to do that. We are not going to beg for our land, said Malema. Malemas supporters seemed to take his message even further. One banner carried at his party launch rally read: Honeymoon is over for whites. Another said: to be a revolutionary you have to be inspired by hatred and bloodshed.

South Africa's post-apartheid governments have made remarkable progress in consolidating the nation's peaceful transition to democracy. Programs to improve the delivery of essential social services to the majority of the population are underway. Access to better opportunities in education and business is becoming more widespread. Nevertheless, transforming South Africa's society to remove the legacy of apartheid will be a long-term process requiring the sustained commitment of the leaders and people of the nation's disparate groups.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), chaired by 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, helped to advance the reconciliation process. Constituted in 1995 and having completed its work by 2001, the TRC was empowered to investigate apartheid-era human rights abuses committed between 1960 and May 10, 1994; to grant amnesty to those who committed politically motivated crimes; and to recommend compensation to victims of abuses. In November 2003, the government began allocation of $4,600 (R30,000) reparations to individual apartheid victims. The TRC's mandate was part of the larger process of reconciling the often conflicting political, economic, and cultural interests held by the diverse groups of people that make up South Africa's population. The ability of the government and people to agree on many basic questions of how to order the country's society remains a critical challenge.

South Africas ruling African National Congress (ANC) won the 07 May 2014 election, guaranteeing it another five years at the helm of Africas most advanced nation, but the ANC's share of the vote slipped. In all, nearly 19 million votes were cast in national and provincial polls. With all votes counted, the ANC won just over 62 percent of the poll, compared to the opposition Democratic Alliance's 22 percent. The far-left, radical Economic Freedom Fighters nabbed third place. The success of the party, which targeted South Africas large population of unemployed youth, reflects South Africas demographic shift toward a younger population, as did the fact that the EFF shoved aside the venerable Inkatha Freedom Party, which is led by an 85-year-old man, the respected Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Of all the parties, the DA was the only one that had been able to gain ground with each election, while the ANC consistently shed 3 percent.

Allegations that whites own 80% of the land and blacks 20% do not include places where tens of thousands of new homes have been built by people themselves. Statistics SAs Household Survey of 2014 seemed to indicate that Africans now claim to own about 52% of the land that households claim to own if measured by size of the property. An April 2016 private survey looking at residential property says black South Africans own 52 percent of the value of the nations homes, and that the figure is rising. This is up from 41.7% in 2009, where white ownership was at 43.8%, coloured ownership at 8.3% and Indian ownership at 6.2%. However, nearly 80 percent of South Africas population is black, meaning they are still underrepresented in this domain.

Black First Land First activists want land to be given to black South Africans as compensation for colonial-era land seizures. This far-left group objects to the current policy that allows landowners to hold out until the selling price is acceptable. Lindsay Maasdorp, national spokesman for Black First Land First, says We will not wait for a constitution that is anti-black and enshrines land theft to determine when we take back land. Were saying black people should not be buying back stolen land. We agree that we should not. White people didnt come here and just start speaking to us and say, let me just take it. It was a violent process, and it continues to be a violent process. When we confront violence we will do so with violence too. Sometimes it will be with words, sometimes it will be through dialogue. But other times, it will be physical as well. Why? Because we have the right to defend ourselves against those who have taken our land from us.

Local elections are the barometer of the depth of democracy in South Africa. Returning to the polls on 03 August 2016, in the fifth local election since the dissolution of the apartheid state in 1994, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party would find out how well it still represented the aspiration of the South African people. High unemployment, corruption and poor service delivery have been the main issues dominating the election campaign. At least 26 percent of South Africans are without work. The ruling ANC government has been hit by string of corruption scandals, most notably the $20m funnelled into upgrading President Jacob Zuma's personal home in Nkandla. The party had been hit by a string of alleged politically motivated murders exposing deep rooted factionalism within the party.

A total of 26.3 million South Africans are registered to vote, but this certainly does not mean that so many will turn up. At the 2011 local election, 23 million people were registered, but only 11 million voted. There were some 61,014 candidates from 200 political parties (a 65 percent increase in the number of parties compared to the last election in 2011) vying for 283 municipalities. In 2011, the ANC managed to secure control of 198 councils, winning in seven of the countrys eight biggest metropolitan areas. Some 40 percent of the population live in those areas. In contrast, the Democratic Alliance (DA) opposition party, with Cape Town under its control, managed 18 councils.

Voters disenchanted with two decades of rule by the African National Congress (ANC) slashed its overall support to 54 percent from its once consistent 60-percent-plus. In South Africa's 2014 general election, the ANC received 62 percent, down from nearly 66 percent in 2009. The radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led by Julius Malema, Zuma's one-time protg, was on 8 percent nationwide. Turnout was about 58 percent overall. Although the ANC was still ahead in the overall count, the party was forced to concede defeat to the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) in the municipality of Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes the city of Port Elizabeth. The DA also had a narrow lead in the economic hub of Johannesburg. The opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) gained 43 percent of the vote in the Tshwane municipality, which includes the nation's capital, Pretoria, while the ANC garnered 41 percent. The EFF took 12 percent, a share that was enough to give either the DA or ANC the lead role in a majority coalition.

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