October 24, 2008

ANC factions clash at rally / Survey shows alienation from ANC

Supporters of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and those of a breakaway faction clashed at a rally in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg yesterday, the daily Business Day has reported. According to the report, police intervened to make sure a rally addressed by the party's former chairman and country's former defense minister, Mosiuoa Lekoty, went ahead, the Johannesburg-based newspaper said. ANC supporters were chanting ``kill Lekota,'' the newspaper said.
Lekota resigned as defense minister last month, and earlier this month said he may form a new political party to rival the ANC, after the Sept. 21 ousting of Thabo Mbeki as national president.
In the meantime, Johannesburg Sunday Times survey taken late last month has revealed that the ANC and the DA are neck and neck in the polls among urban voters seven months before the general elections. According to the poll fewer than three in ten respondents (27 percent) would vote for the ruling African National Congress if the election were held tomorrow. About 26 percent would vote for the opposition Democratic Alliance, while 27 percent were undecided.
The survey was conducted by Ipsos Markinor on 1.500 South Africans and found there would be a massive turnout for the election next year. Ex-president Thabo Mbeki was still more popular than ANC president Jacob Zuma, and new president Kgalema Motlanthe was more popular among ANC voters than Mbeki or Zuma. Mbeki received a 5.95 rating out of ten. While Zuma scored 3.89 and Motlanthe 5.52. Motlanthe was the most popular among blacks, with a 6.47 rating. The Independent Democrats and the Freedom Front gained 1.6 percent but a new party founded by disgruntled ANC members would receive only 0.9 percent support, the Sunday Times reported. At the time of the survey there were only rumours of a new party being set up. (Business Day, Johannesburg / The Times, South Africa)


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