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By Alec Hogg
Long-time Premium members may recall the strong South African connection of Simon Kuper, a leading columnist at our UK partners, the Financial Times, and twice awarded the British Society of Magazine Editors’ prize for Columnist of the Year.
Kuper grew up in Leiden, where his South African-exiled father was a professor of anthropology at the local university. More famously, he is the grandson of Supreme Court judge Simon Meyer Kuper, who was murdered in 1963, shot through a window of his Johannesburg home by an unknown assassin.
Although focused on Europe, the piece has relevance for the country where Kuper’s family’s roots are deep. Although political extremists enjoy lots of media attention here, South Africans are conservative by nature – over 85% are Christians; even more say they will vote for peace, security, good governance, and a better future for their children.
For decades, the ANC has promised all of these things but failed to deliver. Support for SA’s ‘saner right’ is growing. In recent by-elections, some DA candidates have been returned with almost impossibly high majorities, like Anna Alida Erasmus who earlier this month got 98.6% in Tshwane’s Ward 47 – up from 70% in November 2021.
The DA says its own polling shows an “unprecedented” narrowing to just seven percentage points in the gap between the party and the ANC – 32% against 39%. Logic suggests that this will continue. Perhaps in Election ‘24, just like Australia in yesterday’s Cricket World Cup final, the day will belong to the calm, sane underdog.
Read Simon Kuper’s piece here
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