African National Congress suffers worst-ever election results
JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s ruling party suffered its worst election setback since taking power at the end of apartheid a generation ago, with the African National Congress losing the capital, Pretoria, and its surrounding Tshwane metropolitan area. But it won a tight race for the country’s biggest city, Johannesburg, election authorities reported Saturday night.
The opposition Democratic Alliance, which named its first black party leader last year, made a strong move out of its stronghold in the city of Cape Town, winning in three of the country’s six largest municipalities. With no party reaching a majority in Johannesburg or Tshwane, the possible formation of coalition governments is the next challenge.
Scandals around President Jacob Zuma came back to haunt him even as he praised a peaceful vote. As he spoke on national television, four women stood up in front of him, silently facing the crowd and holding signs that appeared to refer to his acquittal for rape in 2006. Zuma didn’t appear to respond.
The election losses have threatened two decades of dominance by the ANC, the former antiapartheid movement.