It was never going to be easy for opposition parties in SA to grow by leveraging the failures of the ANC, simply because, in the eyes of many, the ANC had no failures — and, even if it did, it could not be allowed to fail.

The ANC was a national project, the embodiment of SA’s fight against apartheid and the vehicle for the realisation of its aspirations. So, from the beginning of our democracy, opposition was something to be tolerated at best. At worst — and often — it was considered a reactionary force. To oppose the ANC was to oppose SA itself.

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