How much of a challenge will COPE pose to the ruling ANC?
The Congress of the People (COPE) became South Africa’s newest political party when it was founded two months ago by a group of senior African National Congress (ANC) leaders loyal to Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president.
The new party is the first real challenge to the ANC’s 14-year hold on power and could lead to the biggest reshaping of South Africa’s political landscape since the end of the apartheid era.
The ANC under Jacob Zuma, its leader, has been rocked by defections to COPE and the new party is hoping to capitalise on widespread unease over a corruption case that has dogged Zuma since he was fired as Mbeki’s deputy president in 2005.
Many South Africans believe that the post-apartheid era has not lived up to their expectations.
Inside Story, with presenter Maryam Nemazee, asks just what went wrong with the ANC and if COPE will be able to make a difference.
This episode of Inside Story aired on Monday, December 15, 2008 at 1730GMT with repeats at 2230GMT and on Tuesday at 0430GMT and 0830GMT.