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Rainbow’s end

A split in the ANC means South Africa may finally become a multi-party democracy

By Andrew Feinstein   December 2008

Since democracy came to South Africa in 1994, 16th December has been celebrated as a day of reconciliation. But this year it may instead hark back to its apartheid incarnation, when it marked the bloody defeat of Zulu king Dingane by early Afrikaner pioneers. For it is on this date that a group of former ANC leaders will launch a new political party, the most significant split in the organisation for almost 50 years.

Those who have quit the ruling party and emerged as leaders of the new entity—which may be called the Democratic Congress—include former defence minister, “Terror” Lekota,…

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