TOP LEADERSHIP OF SOUTH AFRICA RULING ANC IN SOMBRE MOOD

There was a sombre mood as the leadership of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) met here Thursday to reflect on the disappointing results of last week’s local government elections and set about decoding the message South Africans have sent to the party before taking corrective action.

The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) held its first meeting following the Aug 3 local government elections in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, which is centred on the national adminstrative capital, Pretoria, and forms the local government of the northern part of Gauteng Province.

For the first time since 1994, the governing party has fallen below 60 per cent support nationally. It failed to get an outright majority in five of the country’s eight metropolitan municipalities and in 31 municipalities across the country.

The ANC now finds itself in a position where it is forced to enter into coalition with opposition parties.

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe says the results represent a clear message to the party and this will be assessed by the NEC over the next few days.

Some opposition parties have reportedly been calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down as a pre-condition for coalition talks and it is understood that even some in the ANC party share these sentiments. Mantashe was quick to rule out any discussion regarding individuals.

With the deadline for the first meeting of the municipal councils looming, and what is expected to be heated debate, the next four days are likely to be strenuous for an already battered governing party.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK