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COPE is good for democracy but bad for the ANC

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Seconds out…..round number one…….


The first skirmish in the battle for the control of South Africa took place in the Western Cape this week as by elections were held to elect new representatives.


The ANC’s administrative woes continued as they failed to register candidates in 12 constituencies.


Independents who claim to belong to COPE, the new political party who broke away from the ANC won 6 of those seats, the DA 5 and the ID 1. COPE is still busy registering as a political party and could not therefore field candidates.


However the first real sign of the battle the ANC will have to face in next years general election, took place in the 15 wards where the ANC did field candidates.


All 15 of these wards belonged to the ANC before the by election.


The results: The ANC won 3 seats, COPE 4 seats, the ID 4 seats and the DA 4.

If all the votes in these 15 wards are added up, the ANC received 32 % and COPE 27 %. The ID gained 20 % and the DA 18 %.


It is way to early to tell whether this will mean a major reduction of support for the ANC in the 2009 general election but one thing is for sure……the winds of change are blowing over South Africa once again.


Questions that must be asked is whether the ANC and their partners are mature enough to deal with the challenge in a dignified manner, or will old style African politics be employed with intimidation and violence the order of the day?


The conclusion that can to be drawn from the results is that COPE is bad for the ANC but good for democracy in South Africa. Absolute power is known to corrupt absolutely. We just need to glance north to Zimbabwe to see what absolute power did to Robert Mugabe.


More information about the by election can be found at:


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