The city of Johannesburg, South Africa, which had been governed by an opposition coalition since municipal elections last year, saw its government collapse over the weekend, a sign that the country could be led by a racist left-wing party after the 2024 election.
The liberal Democratic Alliance (DA), the country’s largest opposition party, has made steady advances in urban areas over the last two decades. Last year, it succeeded in taking over the troubled city of Johannesburg, installing physician Mpho Phalatse as mayor.
Johannesburg, the country’s economic hub and the most important industrial metropolis on the African continent, has suffered high crime and declining public services in recent years. The country’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), is widely seen as both corrupt and incompetent, using political power to fund its patronage network and neglecting basic government functions. The DA has governed successfully in Cape Town, and hopes to push the ANC below the 50% threshold in the 2024 general elections.
But the DA has faced a challenge from another rising opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a militant, racist, and socialist party led by former ANC youth leader Julius Malema, known for wearing red and for his incendiary, anti-white rhetoric.
Last Friday, the ANC succeeded in dividing the fragile coalition through which the DA governed Johannesburg when two other small parties — COPE and ActionSA, formed by disgruntled members of the ANC and DA, respectively — voted against the DA coalition.
That allowed the ANC to install its own mayor, Dada Morero, and upended the DA’s broader political strategy, which has been to convince South African voters that it can be trusted to lead effective coalition governments if the ANC is ousted from power in 2024.
The result, political analysts Ray Hartley and Greg Mills warn, is that the EFF, not the DA, could end up governing in a coalition after the 2024 elections, allowing the minority ANC to stay in power and sending South Africa on a steep spiral to destruction.
With the EFF in government, they say, Malema could be deputy president; the government could seize white-owned farmland without compensation, as Zimbabwe did in 2000; and the state could nationalize private industry, among other radical changes.
Meanwhile, as Johannesburg and much of the rest of the country suffers frequent electricity shortages, along with severe poverty and economic inequality, South Africa’s media and intellectual elite busies itself with First World obsessions, such as climate change.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.