There was a time when opposition politics in South Africa was rather pedestrian. All the drama and intrigue was inside the ANC, with factions going head to head in various succession battles.
For the first time, the Democratic Alliance (DA) is caught up in a divisive leadership race and the ANC is a distant, somewhat disinterested observer.
As the DA undergoes a leadership makeover, the structure and role of opposition politics is changing too. Candidate Maimane or Candidate James could lead the newly configured opposition or get carried away by it. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Remember when the Congress of the People (Cope) was the biggest thing to happen to opposition politics? Remember too when the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) was a serious player – serious enough for its lifelong leader and senior party members to be included in the Cabinet? And remember when Mamphela Ramphele burst onto the political scene aiming to be the next big thing?
The political machine is ruthless, and if you’re over the hill or don’t know what you’re doing, you can be chewed up and spat out. Within a few years, Cope went from being the biggest threat to the ANC to a negligible voice …
Source : Daily Maverick