White Woman Shakes Up S. Africa Politics

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 7, 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

White Woman Shakes Up S. Africa Politics

Byline: Clare Nullis Associated Press

CAPE TOWN, South Africa Helen Zille has a sharp tongue and a short fuse, and she doesnt dodge a fight. In apartheid times she enraged South Africas white rulers, and lately she has ruffled South Africas black political establishment.

Having won plaudits as mayor of Cape Town, she is now leader of the main opposition and her provinces premier a striking example of democracy at work in a country that is ruled by blacks but leaves room for white politicians like Zille.

In the April provincial election, Zille won just over 51 percent of the vote to seize control of the wealthy Western Cape province from the African National Congress, breaking the ruling partys monopoly on power. In voting for the national parliament, her Democratic Alliance partys share rose to nearly 17 percent and helped deny the ANC its coveted two-thirds majority.

Now the 58-year-old workaholic says her goal is to run Western Cape so well that voters will be persuaded to ditch the ANC in other provinces.

"The Western Cape will set an example for democracy for South Africa," she told cheering supporters after the results were announced.

Thats a tall order, given that her Democratic Alliance is still perceived as mainly white and most black South Africans are loyal to the ANC which liberated them from oppression. Zille says that 15 years after apartheid formally ended, race no longer should dominate politics.

But the ANC has responded sourly to losing the Western Cape. No sooner had Zille announced her Cabinet than the ruling party was complaining that it was all-male, mainly white and therefore out of touch. Zille hit back by reminding South Africans that their new president, the ANCs Jacob Zuma, had a blemished record where women were concerned.

"The ANC does not take electoral defeat lying down," Zille said. "Instead they use every trick imaginable to reverse the voters choice. We are ready for them."

"Almost every structure established to protect the rights of South Africans has become an extension of the ANC, protecting the powerful against ordinary people and maintaining a culture of silent denial about the root causes of many of our countrys biggest problems. The role of the opposition is to break that silence.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

White Woman Shakes Up S. Africa Politics


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?