South African Election - 2004

A retrospective prognosis

Wynand de Beer
22 February 2004 E-Mail this page to a friend

South Africa is far more of a pigmentocracy than a democracy.
On the 14th of April 2004 millions of South Africans will go to the polls for the country's third democratic elections, in order to elect members for the national and provincial legislatures. The previous two elections (in 1994 and 1999) were won with large majorities by the ANC, in alliance with the SA Communist Party and Cosatu. The communist component of the ruling party is usually ignored by the mass media with their hidden agendas, notwithstanding the fact that the SACP has for more than half a century been the 'brains' behind the ANC. This was the case until at least the early 1990's in terms of ideological grounding and military planning, and since then in terms of strategic and tactical planning.

In a country which is far more of a pigmentocracy (i) than a democracy, it is to be expected that the ANC will once again achieve an overwhelming victory. For whatever reasons, the vast majority of black voters regard the ruling party as their 'liberators' from the injustices of the past. This situation is set to continue for many years to come, making a mockery of one of the fundamental aspects of a true democracy, namely the possibility of a change in governing party from one election to the next. One only has to look at the successful democracies in Europe, the Far East and North America to appreciate the truth of this statement.

Another ignored phenomenon is that the number of voters declined by almost 4 million, from just under 20 million to just under 16 million, between the first two elections. This substantial decline can be ascribed to several factors, such as the requirement for voters to register for the '99 election whereas in '94 they could vote on producing an ID book; apathy among opposition voters who felt that the ANC support was too overwhelming to effectively oppose; the emigration of large numbers of white professionals and youths, which further impaired the opposition; and the effect of HIV/Aids on especially the black population. It will be of great interest to compare the number of voters in the forthcoming elections with that of the previous two.

In 1999 the DP support rocketed from a scant 300 000 to 1,5 million votes
It is generally accepted among informed observers that the '94 election produced a negotiated result, in view of the very late entry of the IFP into the fray and the resulting chaos with the ballot papers, especially in Kwazulu Natal. The fact that it took two weeks for the Independent Election Commission to produce the results speaks for itself. What did the anxiously-awaited results look like? The three main roleplayers obtained more than 90% of the total vote among themselves, and each were included in the government of national unity. The ANC drew 12 million votes, or 62,6%; the NP just under 4 million, or 20,4%; and the IFP obtained 2 million, or 10,5%. Among the smaller opposition parties, the Freedom Front of the ex-generals drew 400 000 votes (2,2%) while the DP obtained 300 000 votes, or 1,7%. The much-vaunted PAC, co-heroes of the 'liberation struggle' with the ANC, received less than a quarter million votes, or 1,2% of the total.

By 1999 the ANC increased its percentage support further to 66,3%, within reach of a two-thirds majority which would enable it to unilaterally amend the constitution. In the meantime the opposition landscape had changed considerably. The Nats, renamed the New NP, had through its compliance with the new rulers fallen into disrepute among the minorities it pretended to represent. In contrast, the DP fought an aggressive campaign against the ANC, which enabled it to win majority support among white and Indian voters for the first time, and to oust the NNP as the official opposition. DP support rocketed from a scant 300 000 to 1,5 million votes, or 9,6% of the total. The IFP remained in third position with just under 1,4 million votes, or 8,58%, and clung precariously to its position as dominant party in the Kwazulu Natal legislature, but no longer with an outright majority.

But the greatest shock of the '99 election was reserved for the NNP. Its support fell with a massive three-quarters, down from 4 million to one million. In terms of percentage support, the picture looked just as bleak for the former-racists-turned-collaborators: down all the way from 20% to a mere 6,9%. Only in its Western Cape power base did the NNP retain a measure of respectability, but no longer with an outright majority. What a comedown for the once-powerful Nats! And not a moment too soon, for the sooner South Africa can be rid of this anachronistic blemish on its political landscape, the better for the country and all its inhabitants.

After the '99 election the writing was on the wall for the NNP
Another huge reversal in fortunes hit the FF, with its ludicrous policy of an Afrikaner homeland. Its support fell from 400 000 to 100 000, i.e. a meagre 0,8% of the total vote. The PAC also slipped to just over 100 000 votes (0,7%). Two other opposition parties fared relatively well, however. The ACDP, the self-appointed mouthpiece of 'evangelical' and other fundamentalist Christians (ii), increased its support from just under 90 000 (0,5%) to more than 200 000 (1,4%). And the new-on-the-scene UDM impressed friend and foe with more than half a million votes, or 3,4% of the total. In the Eastern Cape it even ousted the NNP to become the main opposition party in the heartland of the ANC.

After the '99 election the writing was on the wall for the NNP. In order to survive as a political force, the party's leadership was pressurised by its public representatives and the Afrikaans press to negotiate a merger with the DP leadership. In an astonishingly quick process the two parties merged in 2000 to become the Democratic Alliance, thereby providing renewed hope to millions of opposition supporters. The results of this enthusiasm manifested within months, when in the countrywide local elections held at the end of the same year the DA attracted around 4 million votes - far more than the combined 2,6 million for the DP and NNP just a year earlier. Much to the chagrin of the power-crazed ANC, the DA obtained control of the prized Cape metropole, besides gaining control of a large number of local authorities in especially the Western Cape.

However, this positive situation was not set to last long. With characteristic underhandedness the ANC leadership managed to entice the opportunistic NNP leadership away from the DA, and into an alliance with itself. The result was a takeover of both the Western Cape provincial legislature and the Cape metropole by the former political enemies, now joined in a scandalous embrace. As a reward for his betrayal of millions of DA supporters, the pathetic NNP leader was awarded the Western Cape premiership. Ever since, his 'leadership' has mostly consisted of vicious personal attacks on the DA and especially on its leader - the very same people who threw out a lifebuoy to him when his party was faced with irrelevance. So much for gratitude! As could be expected from the Afrikaans press, with their tradition of smearing any person or organisation who swims against the current (iii), the NNP leader with his wild invective has been receiving far more coverage than his DA counterpart. Certain things never change…

the DA is going all-out to wrench the Western Cape back from the ANC/NNP alliance
What can be expected from the 2004 election, apart from another landslide ANC victory? In the first place, the two main opposition parties, the DA and the IFP, have formed an alliance to fight the ANC/NNP alliance together. Together they should draw around 25% of the national vote, putting them in a stronger position in parliament to fight for the democratic rights of all South Africans. Although this level of support will still not be enough to present a real electoral threat to the ANC, the DA and IFP will play the vital role of keeping the flame of opposition politics burning. How important this is to ensure democratic rule may be judged by the example of our northern neighbour, where the tyrant Mugabe built up his dictatorial powers through the absence of an effective opposition during the first twenty years of his rule (1980-2000).

Secondly, the DA is going all-out to wrench the Western Cape back from the ANC/NNP alliance. All the indications are there that the DA could become the largest party in the Western Cape, with strong support among especially coloured and white voters. This might not be enough to obtain control of the legislature, which could force the party to enter into an alliance with one or more opposition parties. The ANC will most likely be the second party in the province, with the NNP in third place.

In the third place, there is a distinct possibility that Kwazulu Natal could remain in IFP hands, this time in alliance with the DA. Should this materialise, the pressure will be on the IFP leadership to enter into negotiations with the DA to form a formal alliance, and in the long run a merger. The two parties have historically (iv) had far more in common than the differences between them, and it is high time for the IFP to leave its ethnic roots (however well they have served the party in the past) behind in favour of a broader South Africanism based on civilised, democratic values.

we have the happy expectation of seeing the NNP being decimated at the polls
Finally, we have the happy expectation of seeing the NNP being decimated at the polls. It is unlikely that they will receive more than 5% of the total vote, in which case they will become an embarassment instead of an expedient to their ANC masters. At any rate, this opportunistic relic of the past has no right to exist in the new South Africa, no matter how many times it puts 'new' in front of its name. It can be safely predicted that after the elections the ANC will have no scruples in discarding their Nat hangers-on like a worn rag, since they will have no further need for them. And when that happens, and the Nats are finally reduced to the rubbish-bin of history, all South Africans who cherish civilised values are invited to join the writer hereof in toasting the event with a glass of champagne…

Notes: That race/colour is still the dominant criterion in decision-making among the ruling elite and its supporters, is demonstrated by the following: (i) the prevalence of the reverse racism euphemistically referred to as 'affirmative action' in the public sector and most businesses, under threat of law; (ii) the enforced racial quotas in sports such as rugby and cricket, ostensibly to ensure 'representative' teams, but not applicable in the case of black-dominated sports such as soccer; and (iii) the unquestioning support of the ruling party by the black masses, the rural Zulus being a notable exception with their solid IFP support.

The Nats will finally be reduced to the rubbish-bin of history
The ACDP is funded mainly by the Louis Group of Companies, who also publishes the 'charismatic Christian' magazine Today. To further complicate the picture, the Cape Town headquarters of the 'His People' movement, consisting of 'charismatic' extremists, is based in the buildings of the Louis Group in Century City. It can thus be presented as an interlocking organisation, with the ACDP as the political front, Today magazine as the propaganda mouthpiece, 'His People' as the religious front, and the Louis Group always in the background as financiers. And that such a fundamentalist grouping is capable of blatant socio-political manipulation can be seen in the USA, where the 'evangelical' Christians and other fundamentalists exercise enormous influence in the Republican Party. No wonder the Americans regularly become involved in wars whenever a Republican president is in office! This influence also extends to education, where these fanatics have been attempting for years to enforce the teaching of 'young-earth creationism' vis-à-vis evolution in all public schools and even universities - in flat contradiction of all common sense and scientific evidence.

The Afrikaans press, led by the Cape daily Die Burger, under the previous regime routinely engaged in vicious smear campaigns against all opponents of the Nat establishment. Initially the opposition to the left of the NP (at first the United Party and later on the Progressive Federal party) received the brunt of its attacks, which from the early 1980's shifted to focus on the rising Conservative Party and other rightwing groups. With the demise of NP rule in the early 1990's new targets had to be found, and for a while the ANC/SACP alliance suited the bill. Since the formation of the ANC/NNP alliance, which must feel like a return to the 'good old days' for the Afrikaans media (any power is better than no power, it seems), their sights have increasingly been set on the 'nonconformist' DA.

Even under the previous regime the IFP (then simply known as Inkatha) had cordial relations with the DP and its forerunner, the PFP.

Previous Visitor Comments

Name Email Subject Location
In re: clarification of Sayan Yes. If a Honduran miangrt earns $100 in the US and send it home to Honduras, the $100 was earned in the United States and thus contributes to US GDP (or, more precisely, GDI). The income is sent home hopefully via some route that is measured and thus appears as an entry in the Balance of Payments. The income is then received by the Honduran family member, as a transfer payment, not as income. The $100 should, however, count into Honduran GNP/GNI but again, how this all works in contemporary practice is going to be messy depending on how things are actually recorded, and I certainly don’t have much knowledge of that (most of my research stops in the 1950s!).To clarify more, GDP should equal GDI (though notably, the two never quite meet in practice, hence Nalewaik’s work). But more importantly, remember that income’ in the national income accounting sense is *not* just money received, but money received as a factor payment. So an individual who receives a gift from abroad may have to count that gift as income for tax purposes (depending on the tax code), but it should not (technically) count as income for national income purposes. It’s the same logic for why welfare or unemployment payments are not counted as income, but rather transfers.

I would like to know why,one Jewish family in South-Africa -The Oppenheimers are holding 83 milliion Africans in 6 countries to ransom? I would like to know why Native South-Africans workers are being worked to an early grave in the mines? When will the 83 million people revolting against the oppressive regime of the Oppenheimers? I recently viisted Cape Town-it was obscene to see the wide gaps in houisng standards between the affluent whites and jews in the Bay areas as compared to the people in the African townships.

Paul Sabinopaulogill_at_telkomsa.netVote!
African Christian Democratic Party: the only viable and decent political solution right now; because of all the right principles, and all the right practical ideas; just me, a somebody out there, I could grow the SA economy 10% each year, at least 50% over 10 years, minimum! cares for the people
South Africans should accept tht ANC governs and it is the only party that can take care of their needs and interest. ANC loves South Africans and it country & neighbouring country. Thanks alot to those Africans who have put trust on the organisation of the people (ANC) hoping that they will continue doing so, ANC trust and believes in you. Together we can continue building this country to the better we will continue fighting poverty and creating better life for all and we can only do so by voting ANC in an upcoming local government election for the strong,democratic local government. people should be considered
the leadership of the anc must not forget that the votes they got are not only from people staying in urban areas but from all the people of south africa who voted for this imbizo week,we appeal to our leaders to visit al the rural areas n south africa.peple are still without electricity and water abd mind you we are celebrating ten years of democracy.after this ten year of failure,now they should pull their socks up or other wise it's good bye to votes.

hello, my nmae is Steve was wanting to know was there a Prince Harry marshall he was nigeria PDP people democratic party and moved to the oPPOSITIOBN PARTY WHEN THERE WAS SEVERAL POLITICAL KILLINGS , do you know anything about this can you tell me please thanks Steve

Wynand de Beerwdebeer_at_yahoo.comMajority?
Nic, to casually align oneself with the majority is in direct opposition to what Christ taught regarding the fallen human masses. It will always be a minority striving towards truth, beauty, and goodness - precisely because this striving demands exertion and sacrifice, and most people prefer comfort and compromise. This phenomenon even has a scientific grounding, called entropy or the second law of thermodynamics. So much for the majority! Oops, I suppose I am being elitist again...

Nicw_at_w.comEvolution but thats not really the point is it. Please check these sites. The reason that I commented on the last part of this article was because of the descriptions like "fanatic" , "fundamentalist" quote "This influence also extends to education, where these fanatics have been attempting for years to enforce the teaching of 'young-earth creationism' vis-à-vis evolution in all public schools and even universities - in flat contradiction of all common sense and scientific evidence." Evolution,? thats not really the point is it. You demonised the ACDP by making all the beliefs that they have out as being incompatible with normal day to day life. The suprising thing (or horrible in your case) is that +- 75 % of South Africa's population do believe in the things that you describe as "fundamentalist" or "fanatic"

Wynand de Beerwdebeer_at_yahoo.comEvolution etc
Nic, I happen to agree with you on the question of same-sex marriages, which I believe is an abomination, and also on abortion as being legalised murder (at least in most cases). But to accuse me of believing in atheistic evolutionism because I reject irrational notions such as 'young earth creationism' is unfair, not to mention inaccurate. I very much believe in God as Creator, but how He creates is not for us to prescribe. Do yourself a favour and visit for some interesting views on Christianity and evolution. Regards, Wynand

This article is a load of propaganda as far as the part about the ACDP is concerned, we are called fanatics because we are against abortion, gay rights and the like, you know what... I am a fanatic, I think killing unborn kids is murder, I think serving the interest of 1-3 % of the population that call themselves "gay" is wrong especially since the majority (I know, a crass word for the liberals) support a union between a MAN and a WOMAN (oh the horror!) I believe in God, I believe that he sent His Son to die for my sins, you call my faith in the ""young earth"" idiotic and without rational thought, I say that I am extremely rational, You believe that life started with only amino acids, a bit of proteien and the like, I say that your faith in this is even greater than mine.

Jaco vs ID
Yes Paul, it really never came as a surprise to me that many old Progs did what you did. The Progs always liked being in opposition to the state without ever threatening it. They could posture to be "left" and still live comfortably in their secure little enclaves of the Old South Africa. When the new one came into being you (obviously) embraced and applauded it before many of your fellow PFP supporters lived up to their names by Packing For Perth.

The likes of you also never liked the idea of sharing your elitist little club with the political riff-raff. Unfortunately though, the DA now gets roughly ten times the 1.3% of the old DP back in 1994. Common sense tells you that, if you are going to have 9 new voters for every old one, most of them are going to come from the ranks of erstwhile enemies, spoiling "your" moral high ground in the process.

Enters Patricia de Lille. She offers everything you want. Controversiality, exclusivity, a share of the moral high ground etc, etc.

And with all that you get the extra bonus that she will also never threaten the status quo. Enjoy!

PaulAnonymousDA vs ID
Up until 2003 I only ever voted for the "white left" - first the PFP, then the DP then the DA. However, I was extremely disappointed when the DP merged with the Nats after 1999. Thankfully the NNP has gone, but I'm afraid the DP that's left no longer has my support. I voted for Patricia de Lille's Independent Democrats in 2004 and unless the DA changes its stance substantially I shall continue to vote for the ID, regardless of the fact that some people may consider this a "wasted" vote.

Jaco, what is yours?
Is 'democracy' supposed to be a headcount in a pigmentocracy? Is it really 3 wolves and a sheep voting over dinner?? Is that maybe what is "very much alive" in SA???

AndreAnonymousWhat's your definition of Democracy???
Dude, last time I checked... a democracy entailed that the people choose who they want in government. Whether or not the recent results are to the benefit of South Africa is a separate question. AND one you ought to address to 70% of the population. My point is that whether you like it or not, democracy is very much alive and well in SA! Whether that's a good thing or not seems more to be the issue you are aiming at!!!

Dacre Haddon 2004
The sad thing about our recent S.A election is that some 7% of the electorate voted for parties that got less than 2% of the vote. SA needs a strong opposition- that 7% would have given DA an additonal 22 seats in parliament. This country needs a two party system to suceed for forseeable future DA or ANC. We can't afford the plethora of the othe silly parties that stand when the ANC has nearly 70% of the vote nationally. It's a two horse race for the foreseeable future DA or ANC-don't waste your vote on sillies parties.
is it possible to e-mail what was the election results for each province thanks
Good Day,I just want to know when this affirmative action is going to stop.When us coulords go for jobs we not black enough.First we were not white enough and know we not black enough.what can we do to get a job.

Wynand de Beerwdebeer_at_yahoo.comElection results
Hello Emeka! The ANC won the elections with a larger than expected majority, obtaining almost 70% of the vote. The DA was in second place with just over 12% and the IFP third with under 7%. The NNP was destroyed, even more thoroughly as predicted, gaining less than 2% of the vote and finishing only in sixth place. Although South Africa has now become a de facto one party system, which bodes nothing good for democracy here, we at least have the consolation of having rid ourselves of the treacherous Nats and their duplicity. Let's toast it!

Emeka Michaelsextwo4peace@yahoo.comwho is going to win the election?
Hi Iam a nigeria and intrested in your country's election ,I have read the above and would like to recieve morr news on the election. Thanks. EMEKA.

Simon Lowsimonlow2002_at_hotmail.comWho is going to win the 2004 elections?
Thanks Jaco. Rgrds Simon

Jaco is going to win the 2004 elections?
The IFP and DA are in an alliance. The DP doesn't exist anymore. In 2000 the DP and NNP merged to form the DA, but Kortbroek van Schalkwyk led some of the NNPs out of the DA again in order to give the Western Cape to the ANC, securing for himself the Premieship in the process.

The ANC is set to get between 60% and 65% of the vote and the DA/IFP between 25 and 30. A lot of voters are apathetic and that include traditional pro govt ANC support. If you have seen 10 yrs of gravy train go by and you still live in a shack you are not going to be too fired up to get out of bed and vote tomorrow...

Pietermaritzburg is but one town and not the whole of KZN

Simon simonlow2002_at_hotmail.comWho is going to win the 2004 elections?
Hi, I am a South African, living and working in the UK. I would like to know if you can answer a couple of questions for me. I have read the above and would like to know what the view is on the current elections. Who is expected to win this year and what should the majority be? As from what I have read the INC vote majority has declined by quite a lose in voters, what doe sthis actualy mean? Have the people lost hope in the ANC? and will the IFP join DP? Thanks Regards Simon

Don Warrennarx2@telkomsa.netAlliance
How can the DA expect support in the alliance with the IFP when the KwaZulu Natal capital, Pietermaritzburg, is so strongly supported by the ANC, and Ulundi by the IFP/DA coalition? An important question, needing a response!

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