Nelson Mandela was the only ANC president to sit in on a focus group. Before the 1994 election, as violence threatened the polls, he sat behind a one-way screen and observed as a focus group of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) hardliners heavily criticised him.
Professor David Everatt, now head of the Wits School of Governance, signed a contract, along with a partner, with then ANC secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa, to conduct elections research for the party. They set up shop in a building in the Johannesburg CBD.
When Mandela arrived, the streets around it were cordoned off. Everatt met the presidential hopeful and walked him up, leaving his bodyguards outside. ….more