n Journal of African Elections - The African National Congress's unprecedented victory in KwaZulu-Natal : spoils of a resurgent Zulu ethno-nationalism

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



This paper probes the ANC's phenomenal performance in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), where the party not only registered a rare outright majority but also experienced a stunning rise in support, while dropping support in the other provinces. Yet the ANC-dominated provincial government in KZN did not perform dramatically differently from other ANC provincial governments. The ANC's rise in KZN can be put down to a resurgent Zulu ethno-nationalism that swelled around the party's presidential candidate, Jacob Zuma. Zuma projected himself as a victim of ethnic persecution, a view assisted by the reputation of his rival in the ANC, former president Thabo Mbeki, as a scheming and cunning politician who dealt harshly with his rivals. Zuma's candidature essentially renewed the saliency of Zulu ethnonationalism in South African politics just as it was waning.

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