7 Jun 2009

White Woman Shakes up Black-Led SAfrica's Politics

Helen Zille has a sharp tongue and a short fuse, and she doesn't dodge a fight. In apartheid times she enraged South Africa's white rulers, and lately she has ruffled South Africa's black political establishment.

Having won plaudits as mayor of Cape Town, she is now leader of the main opposition and her province's premier — a striking example of democracy at work in a country that is ruled by blacks but leaves room for white politicians like Zille.

In the April provincial election, Zille won just over 51 percent of the vote to seize control of the wealthy Western Cape province from the African National Congress, breaking the ruling party's monopoly on power. In voting for the national parliament, her Democratic Alliance party's share rose to nearly 17 percent and helped deny the ANC its coveted two-thirds majority.

ABC News - www.helenzille.co.za