ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has blamed the weather in the Free State for a near nine percentage point decline in support for the party in his former province.
Magashule, who has faced allegations of state capture and corruption during his tenure as Free State Premier, was speaking at the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) results operations centre in Pretoria.
Among the shocking developments in the results captured so far is a massive decline in support in ANC former strongholds such as the Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
These were also the “premier league” provinces, which propped up former President Jacob Zuma’s Presidency.
The electorate has dealt a harsh blow to this faction, with support in all three provinces dropping significantly.
Magashule told journalists that the weather was “very bad” over the Free State on election time and this contributed to the party’s potential nine percentage point drop in the province.
When asked about joining Zuma to campaign in KwaZulu-Natal and the near ten percent point decline in that province, Magashule said there were 48 parties on the ballot paper and the drop marked the “natural progression of democracy”.
“Imagine if Jacob Zuma did not campaign,” he said.