Was this a foregone conclusion or not? It was argued that for the first time in South Africa's democratic history there was finally a solid opposition to the ruling ANC. Sadly such optimism was unfounded as COPE slumped to a miserable 7.42% of the national vote whilst the DA were confirmed as the main opposition party with 16.66%. However the ANC romped to a resounding victory with 65.9%. Whilst this is short of the two thirds majority needed to change the constitution they will still have a suitable majority to do as they wish in parliament. Anyway, the ANC co-wrote the constitution so why would they need to change it?
What will be interesting to see is how Zuma fares as president. He's promised a huge amount and is very popular especially amongst the Black majority who also tend to be the poorest in SA society. He's a real people person unlike Mbeki and strong feelings seem to follow him. One thing is for sure, Zuma now has his work cut out for him as the economy is in decline and people want houses yesterday.
One of the most interesting things to watch will be South Africa's 'new' relationship with Zimbabwe. Zuma has made plain his dislike of the Desperate Despot (mugabe) and more recently his family has become inextricably linked to the opposition in Zim' through marriage. Gugulethu, one of Zuma's daughters married Wesley Ncube son of Welshman Ncube of the Mutambara faction of the MDC. Surely the Desperate Despot must be a little concerned by this turn of events.
Credit must go to the Independent Electoral Commission for running a very smooth and impartial election. Many western nations should take notes! Also, the day of voting was declared a public holiday which enabled people to get to the polling stations, consequently turnout was high. Again, other nations could learn from this.
Full results can be seen here.