Independent Candidate Calls for Change as South Africa Prepares for Elections

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As South Africa gears up for its May 29 elections, independent candidate Anele Mda is fervently advocating for significant political reform. In a candid interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Mda asserted that the necessity for change is universally recognized among South Africans. “There is literally no South African who needs to be convinced why we need to change. There isn’t, not one,” she stated.

Mda was unequivocal in her criticism of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and its leadership. She condemned the electorate’s potential support for the ANC, characterizing such voters as “accomplices” to the ongoing corruption. Highlighting the scandal involving ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was accused of concealing up to $4 million on his farm, Mda criticized the public watchdog’s decision to clear Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing. She described the exoneration as a “travesty of justice” and lambasted the ANC for continuing to promote Ramaphosa in their campaign. “And they still have an opportunity to put him with his big face on posters and beg people to vote for such a corrupt, incorrigible man,” she remarked.

Despite being one of Africa’s most advanced nations, South Africa grapples with severe socio-economic challenges. Unemployment and poverty are rampant, disproportionately affecting the Black majority. The ANC, once heralded for ending apartheid under Nelson Mandela’s leadership, faces diminishing support due to these persistent issues and failing government services. Current polls indicate the ANC’s support has plummeted below 50%, with some suggesting it could be as low as 40%, potentially jeopardizing their parliamentary majority for the first time since 1994.

This election is set to be historic, with seventy political parties registered and, for the first time, independent candidates permitted to stand. Mda’s candidacy symbolizes a broader call for change, reflecting the electorate’s growing dissatisfaction with the status quo and a desire for a new political direction.


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