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In Southern Africa, leaders get bracing glimpse of a political precipice

While no ruling party has yet been unseated, the alienation and frustration expressed by a new generation has sent a sharp message in South Africa, Zambia, and even Zimbabwe. 

HERMAN VERWEY/AP

When Jacob Zuma, the man who would soon become South Africa’s president, told voters in 2008 that his party was essentially undefeatable, he spoke with earned bravado. His African National Congress (ANC) had already ruled South Africa for more than a decade and was on its way to a commanding victory in the following year’s national elections. 

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