“The ANC is in trouble whether he is alive or dead,” Sparks said. “I think it will lose more ground. I hope it does, because it has become arrogant. Its strength has been diminished in each election since 1994 and this time it may go under 60 percent. It is riven with factions and eventually it will disintegrate. That will not be bad for the country, but good for the country.”
“The idea that South Africa is hanging on to one man and one party is a failure to understand the processes we have to go through. The predictions of South Africa falling apart have been going on all my life and I’ve been a journalist for 62 years,” he said.
Along with the Democratic Alliance, the ANC also faces a threat from a new party, Agang, founded by Mamphela Ramphele, a businesswoman, academic and activist who was politically and romantically involved with Black Consciousness founder Steve Biko.
Some analysts believe Ramphele can appeal not only to the disaffected black middle class, but also the unemployed masses, who regard the Alliance with suspicion, perceiving it as still reflecting white interests.
“I think a point has been reached where something has to give now. This is the first election where a significant slice of the electorate don’t know what apartheid was about. They will judge what’s out there on its own merits and it will certainly count against the ANC,” ANC member and former exile Obbey Mabena said.