Imraan Buccus is senior research associate at ASRI, research fellow in the School of Social Sciences at UKZN and academic director of a university study abroad  program on political transformation.

There seems to be a national and international consensus that this election is the most important since the end of apartheid. Many have argued that if the ANC doesn’t get a solid mandate under Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership the liberals in the ANC will be seriously weakened, and an alliance between the corrupt and authoritarian nationalists in the ANC and the EFF could seize control of the country.

The result of this would be, almost all analysts are agreed, a rapid turn to authoritarianism and open looting. There would be massive emigration and capital flight and the country would quickly be turned into another wasteland like Zimbabwe.

Some usually sober voices have argued that Ramaphosa is “the last chance for democracy”. This is clearly the view of powerful forces abroad, as well as many local analysts. This is not an overreaction. Anyone with even a basic understanding of global politics or history will shudder with deep fear at the thought of people like Malema, Magashule and Mabuza running South Africa…..more