ANC will ‘win’ 2014 vote, no question about it – Jacob Zuma

2013-10-19 08:54

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The ruling ANC will win general elections next year that will mark two decades of democracy, President Jacob Zuma has said.

“We are confident that we could win, really. We’ll win the elections,” Zuma told France 24 in an interview broadcast yesterday.

“I think from our point of view, there’s no question about it,” he added.

Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress has governed since the first all-race elections in 1994 swept him to power with an overwhelming majority.

It won previous polls in 2009 with 65.9% of the vote, while official opposition the Democratic Alliance took 16.7%.

But repeated corruption scandals, increasing crime levels, poverty and infighting have chipped away at the ANC’s popularity.

Public riots have increased in recent years as disgruntled residents in poor black townships across the country stage violent protests against poor water, electricity and sanitation services.

One in four adults are unemployed and the ANC key governing alliance with the country’s largest trade union federation Cosatu is showing cracks.

Last year police shot dead 34 strikers at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, which drew condemnation as the worst government force brutality since the white supremacist apartheid regime.

“We did not expect the police to act the way they did,” Zuma told France 24, though blaming the killings in part on the strikers, who had killed 10 people in the week leading up to the shootings.

“We condemned it, but we can’t say we would expect the workers to act the way they did which led to the massacre,” said Zuma.

In July, Zuma’s deputy Kgalema Motlanthe cautioned against “vested personal interests” in the ranks of the party, and warned it risked losing power if it failed to remain relevant.

Zuma (71) was elected for a first term in 2009.

As the leader of the ANC, he is almost certainly the party’s presidential candidate for the polls expected next April.

The party has relied on its legacy of liberating the country from white-minority rule for support, but the next elections will be the first for young adults born after apartheid ended in 1994.

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