A new SA milestone

So the foundation has been laid for the birth of a new party spearheaded by breakaway members of the ANC, and the country begins a seminal journey to its umpteenth milestone.

So the foundation has been laid for the birth of a new party spearheaded by breakaway members of the ANC, and the country begins a seminal journey to its umpteenth milestone.

Judging from the enthusiastic welcome so far to the idea since Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa broke ranks with the ANC and the culmination of the weekend convention, this development had been a long time coming.

That the convention took place peacefully and was attended by opposition parties offering their support, is a credit to our democracy.

A plurality of strong parties reflecting the diversity of the nation can only provide the electorate with a wide choice and greatly harness our democracy while also giving it stamina and character.

The test of character will be how it deals with the challenges of political tolerance, freedom of association and expression in a peculiarly combustible environment likely to precede the election next year.

Sibling rivalry is inevitably underscored by intense hostilities and a battle for hegemony by two parties that arguably share a footprint could produce similar volatility, which could be exploited by other elements.

Such prognosis can only be a reality if both the ANC and its splinter fail to act in defence of our democracy.

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