Beaven Dhliwayo Features Writer
The African National Congress (ANC)’s recent victory, though with a reduced majority, further consolidates the dominance of liberation movements in Southern African politics.
ANC won by 58 percent, beating its main challengers — the DA which got 20 percent followed by the EFF with 10 percent.
Even though its support is waning, it still managed to maintain its grip on the levers of power.
The ANC, which has led South Africa’s government since the fall of apartheid in 1994, was expected to prevail in these elections.
Corruption and high levels of youth unemployment tested the party’s standing.
This is the first time since the end of the apartheid regime that the liberation party has fallen below the 60 percent mark in national elections.
In the previous election, in 2014, the ANC won with 62 percent. In 2009 the party garnered 66 percent of the vote. In 2004, it got close to 70 percent of the vote.
President Mnangagwa joined other world leaders in congratulating ANC leader Mr Cyril Ramaphosa: “Congratulations Cde @CyrilRamaphosa on your election victory. We wish you success as you build a strong and prosperous South Africa, and look forward to working closely together as we further strengthen the relationship between our two nations.”
The result gives the ANC 230 seats in the 400-member parliament.
Mr Ramaphosa is expected to be sworn as President of South Africa on May 25, Africa Day.
The win by the ANC further cements the supremacy of the liberation political parties in Southern Africa and beyond.
This means that liberation movements still have a direct impact on the region.
ANC joins ZANU-PF which won 145 of the 210 seats in the National Assembly in the 2018 harmonised elections against the MDC-Alliance’s 63.
ZANU- PF has survived a major onslaught from Western machinations bent on removing it from power.
Britain and its allies imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe after the country made a bold decision to take back its land from the white minority commercial farmers and redistributed it to the landless majority.
Sanctions remain a millstone around Zimbabwe’s neck as it attempts to forge ahead with major social, economic and political reforms.
ZANU- PF has dominated Zimbabwean politics since independence in 1980.
Liberation movements in Africa are nationalist movements that waged an armed struggle against white settler colonialism.
The emergence of organised popular liberation movements throughout Africa following the end of the Second World War was a crucial factor in achieving independence for many African countries.
Some of the key factors that motivated the African uprising and subsequent formation of liberation movements were land, human rights abuses, harsh laws and rules that effectively oppressed and exposed Africans of their respect, wealth and dignity.
Some of the major liberation movement in Southern Africa include the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM, Tanzania), Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo, Mozambique), South West Africa People’s Organisation (Swapo, Namibia) and the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF, Zimbabwe).
The liberation movements arose to combat racism, colonialism and settler capitalism and engaged in armed struggle to establish democracy.
After victory over colonial and white minority regimes, they moved into government embodying the hopes and aspirations of their mass of supporters and of widespread international solidarity movements.
In Mozambique, Frelimo has been in power since winning independence from Portugal in June 1975 following a protracted armed struggle. Cde Samora Moises Machel, was independent Mozambique’s first president. He was succeddd by Joaquim Chissano, who gave way to Cde Armando Guebuza, after serving his two terms. Cde Felipe Nyusi is the former Portuguese colony’s fourth president, sweeping to power in 2015, in office since 2015, having previously served as Minister of Defence from 2008 to 2014.
On the other side of the continent, the MPLA has been the dominant force in Angolan politics since leading the country to independence from Portugal in November 1975, following a 15-year liberation war.
The same is true of Swapo, which stood firm against the might of apartheid, cruising to victory in all three polls since independence in 1990.
The CCM is the longest serving party among liberation movements in Southern Africa, having led Tanganyika to independence as the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in December 1961, and changing its name after Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania on April 26 1964.
The party has consistently won all elections since the country gained independence in 1961.
Despite the regime change agenda by the West, opposition parties face major obstacles to winning majority support.
Most opposition parties are still grappling to win the trust of their people and they are often not seen as viable alternatives to the dominant ruling parties.
Although some of the liberation movements have lost some electoral support in recent years, opposition support has not been big enough to unseat them.
Opposition parties across the region are widely perceived as being puppets of Western governments pushing the agenda of former colonial masters.
The opposition parties are best known for their criticism which does not come with viable solutions to the challenges affecting the majority of the poor in Southern Africa.
In the region, Western imperialists are busy funding opposition parties since the liberation parties are a big threat to their goal of plundering Africa’s resources.
In Zimbabwe, the opposition MDC has lost in all presidential elections they have contested, and in all instances they have cried foul and made sensational claims of Zanu-PF vote rigging.
In their accusations they have failed to provide a single shred of evidence to prove their claims.
Opposition political parties still show confusion in their party ideology, poor strategy, indecisiveness, inexperience and immaturity.
The ANC, which won the most recent SA election, together with other liberation parties in the whole region should therefore move to improve service delivery and defend the revolution.
Unity among liberation movements in their common fight against imperialism and colonialism is critical now.
They should support each other and never allow the West to interfere in their politics.
They should strive to maintain political and territorial integrity and safeguard the interests of the majority of the black people.