Why is this Election different from all others? ANC, COPE and the way forward

"The election is different from all others because it is overshadowed by a range of other factors inside the ANC, particularly fears and defections. At the same time the election will not provide an adequate indication of the potential strength and influence of COPE. The ANC, is primarily a child of the liberation struggle, something unique and unthinkable in Angola and in Zimbabwe. In that sense residual constitutionalism does set barriers on what the ANC breaches may do. The emergence of COPE has been ad hoc and it still has not had time to regularise the relationship between membership and leadership. Insofar as the leadership is primarily from the Mbeki experience, the likelihood is that they may try to minimise the role of the membership. As indicated, that membership may be able to determine whether or not COPE is radicalised, depending on the space it is allowed and whether it can become a force within the organisation. The emergence of COPE may be an opening for alternative visions and also pressurise the ANC. But at the present moment, it seems unlikely. We are not at the end of history and we can in our different ways help turn our course, over time, towards a sustainable democratic and transformative route."