"I am happy as the counting is going on, I am told millions have voted for the ANC," Zuma was quote by VOA (Voice of America) news.
The overwhelming parliamentary victory for the ANC all but ensures that Zuma will be elected as South Africa's third president since revolutionary changes in the nation's governing system took place in 1994. The president will be chosen by a majority vote of the parliament in May. Election results indicated much smaller vote tallies for South Africa's other political parties. The Democratic Alliance (DA), led by Helen Zille, should end up with about 15 percent of the seats in the 400-member National Assembly, probably enough to become the official opposition party.
The four-month-old Congress of the People (COPE), comprised mostly of former ANC members, should become the third largest party in parliament with about 8 percent of the seats.
The Inkatha Freedom Party led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi has lost most of its support nationally, but will retain about 20-percent control of its stronghold province, KwaZulu/Natal. The ANC appears to have lost control of the Western Cap province, which is the center of the nation's tourism, wine, and fruit industries.
"Zuma tapped into a dramatic change in the mood of South Africa's poor black majority. Forgotten by the elite, they have run out of patience and are now demanding the economic dividends of democratic rule," observed South African political commentator William Gumede. "He is unlikely to have the honeymoon period enjoyed by past ANC governments. If he fails to deliver, the poor will also turn against him."
Zuma had campaigned on a platform of easing poverty, creating jobs, improving health services and education, increasing rural development, and fighting high levels of crime.
The Johannesburg-based Inter Press Service reported that the Congress of South African Trade Unions COSATU is an alliance partner of the ANC and was one of Zuma's major backers in his bid for the ANC presidency. The report also noted that senior ANC members split from the party following Thabo Mbeki's failed bid for a third term as ANC president and his subsequent removal as president of the country.
The mention of Mangosuthu Buthelezi in these reports brought back memories of a tumultuous time in South Africa's history, during which Buthelezi was often a lone voice of moderation. A member of the Zulu royal family, Buthelezi came under the influence of the ANC as an impressionable university student, but later parted company with the resistance movement as it began employing terrorist tactics. In 1970, Buthelezi became chief executive officer of the Kwazulu Territorial Authority, which the government had designated as a transitional authority to lead the territory towards full homeland independence.
Newsletter publisher Joseph Bradley interviewed Buthelezi in an Investor's Hotline monthly tape cassette for December 17, 1986. In the interview the Zulu leader said he advocated a peaceful resolution of the problems in South Africa. He said he believed that the unrest in his country was being fueled by the USSR and that the external military wing of ANC was led by a known communist who was said to be a KGB member.
During a 21-day tour of the United States and Canada in 1986, Buthelezi spoke out against the sanctions leveled against South Africa by the West in the name of bringing down its apartheid (segregationist) government, stating: "there was great anxiety when the sanctions were announced. Now black people are losing more and more jobs. The sanctions have been devastating."
Tomsanqa Linda, the former mayor of Ibhayi township (a municipality of over 400,000 black South Africans), was — like Buthelezi — a moderate black African leader. As such, he became a steadfast foe of the ANC and the South African Communist Party. Back in the early 1990s, Mayor Linda was sponsored by the John Birch Society on a speaking tour across America, warning about communist penetration of the ANC. In an interview in The New American magazine for July 30, 1990 with the magazine's Senior Editor William F. Jasper, Linda pulled no punches in exposing the nature of the forces that eventually took over his country. The following exchange is revealing:
Jasper: The ANC militants and their supporters here accuse elected leaders like yourself of being traitors and collaborators with apartheid.
Linda: They call everyone who disagrees with them "traitors" and "collaborators." It is rubbish. Nonsense. Every black man and every black leader wants to see an end to apartheid, and full social, political, and economic rights for black people, All black political groupings are committed to that end. But we will not allow apartheid and racism to be replaced with communism.
You must remember, most black moderate leaders were ANC members long ago, before it was taken over by the SACP [South African Communist Party]. I was a member of ANC, as were my parents. Chief Buthelezi was a member. His uncle, Dr. Pixley Seme, was the founder of the ANC back in 1912. It began as a good organization but was targeted for infiltration by the communists in the late 1920s, and was completely taken over by the communists in the late 1950s. After that it became simply a tool for the communists, merely a controlled arm of the SACP. So all decent people left the ANC. Twenty-three of the ANC's 30-member ruling politburo are disciplined members of the South African Communist Party.
It is no secret to us in South Africa that the ANC is completely run by Joe Slovo, head of the SACP. As you know, when Mandela was released from prison, one of the first people he greeted was Joe Slovo. He praised Slovo and the Communist Party, and they in turn praised him, called him "comrade," and affirmed that ANC and SACP are one. This same Joe Slovo — a white man, Lithuanian-born — is a colonel in the KGB and one of the Soviet Union's most dedicated agents. He is working for his white masters in Russia to impose the same kind of totalitarian communist system that we now have in the so-called "Front-line States" — Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola — where brutal black puppets like Santos and Kaunda impose Marxist dictatorships on the black populations, under the supervision of their Cuban and Soviet rulers. So, you see, it is the ANC and their allies who are the real traitors to the black people of South Africa and the real collaborators with the enemy.
Even at the time of the Jasper-Linda interview, South Africa was changing. Apartheid was ending, and the prospect of majority black rule was inevitable. The only thing in question was whether moderate black rulers like Linda or Buthelezi would prevail, or if an ANC hardliner would take over. The ANC won the election of 1994 with 62 percent of the votes, and Mandela, as leader of the ANC, was inaugurated on May 10 of that year.
In The New American for May 30, 1994, William Jasper reflected on the "The Media's 'Necklacing' of Buthelezi and Inkatha." ("Necklacing" was the term given to the torture employed by ANC terrorists against fellow blacks who refused to go along with their demands. The victim's hands were tied around his back with barbed wire, an old gasoline-soaked tire was placed around his neck, and the tire was lit ablaze.)
In the piece, Jasper noted that Buthelezi's Inkatha party was "committed to ending apartheid and winning full citizenship rights for blacks, [and also] consistently rejected the revolutionary path of violence embraced by the SACP/ANC. In his 1990 manifesto, South Africa: My Vision of the Future, Buthelezi declares: '... I completely denounce violence. I will go to my grave believing that non-violence and peaceful aims and objectives are primary, decent and worthwhile objects which should be inculcated into the hearts and minds of all at all times.'"
Buthelezi was squeezed out of the picture, however, and the major media's portrayal of him as a rogue leader did not help his case. A political deal was struck between Nelson Mandela's ANC and F. W. de Klerk's National Party and deKlerk served (along with future president Thabo Mbeki, who was "fired" by the ANC last year) as Mandela's Co-Deputy President until 1996. This troika of supposed former adversaries made sure that Buthelezi's KwaZulu/Natal did not secure the autonomy that the Zulus sought.
Jasper noted: "Chief Buthelezi is now in a very dangerous position. He knows that the ANC is as committed to its revolutionary path as it ever was and that the communist campaign of violence against the IFP and his Zulus will accelerate once Mandela's gang assumes full control of the government bureaucracy and the defense and security forces. He knows also that de Klerk and the National Party are collaborating fully with the Mandela-Slovo cabal in this betrayal."
As the recent elections indicate, Buthelezi's Inkatha Freedom Party has very little national clout left in South Africa, which like the old Soviet Union, has become a dysfunctional nation now governed by a collection of "ex-communists" and thugs.
We are only glad to find Buthelezi still alive and politically active at the age of 80. Given the ANC's history of violence, that, in itself, is almost a miracle.
Photo: AP Images