April 26, 2009

It's all over

The results from the South African election are official. Here's an article that caught my eye. It captures the class dynamic I saw at work in the election.

Jacob Zuma and the ANC ran a brilliant campaign that successfully framed the 2009 election as a face-off between well-off blacks and whites on the one hand and the poor black majority on the other -- rather than on an examination of the government's record in power.

Zuma was voted in by the majority of poor black South Africans, for whom little has changed since 1994. To win elections in South Africa the support of the black poor and working class in townships, rural areas and informal settlements, more than 60% of the population, is crucial.
There's also this piece, which addresses an issue no American president-elect, for instance, has ever had:
The voters appear to have made their choice abundantly clear in South Africa's election. Now the president-in-waiting, Jacob Zuma, must make a delicate diplomatic choice of his own: which of his wives will be the country's first lady?

Reports conflict on how many times Zuma (67) a Zulu traditionalist and unabashed polygamist, has married over the years. His first wife is Sizakele Khumalo, whom he has known for 50 years and married in 1973.

He wed Ntuli last year, and reportedly was married again in January to Thobeka Mabhija, a Durban socialite with whom he is said to have two children.