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Infighting Plagues South African Opposition Ahead of Elections

  • Democratic Alliance shoots ‘itself in the foot,’ analyst says
  • Ruling ANC re-energized by Ramaphosa’s election as leader
Patricia de Lille speaks in in Cape Town on Jan. 11, 2018.

Patricia de Lille speaks in in Cape Town on Jan. 11, 2018.

Photographer: Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images

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South Africa’s main opposition party is proving to be its own worst enemy as it bids to topple the ruling African National Congress from power in next year’s elections.

Instead of capitalizing on voter antagonism toward the ANC and President Jacob Zuma over a succession of scandals, the Democratic Alliance has stumbled, with its mayors’ performance drawing criticism in several of the biggest cities it runs, including Cape Town and Johannesburg. The party is also struggling to deal with a severe water crisis in Cape Town and improve services in municipalities where it wrested control from the ANC in 2016.