Maimane and Trollip during their election campaign in Port Elizabeth. REUTERS/Luvuyo Mehlwana
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On the surface, white South African ex-farmer Athol Trollip seems an unlikely candidate for mayor of a metropolitan district named after the ANC's great liberation hero, Nelson Mandela.DA candidate Trollip, a fluent speaker of the local Xhosa language, is likely to become mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality after his party won 47 percent of the vote against the ANC's 41 percent, down from 52 percent five years ago.The DA is now expected to form a coalition with smaller opposition parties to run a region that has been an ANC stronghold for more than two decades.During campaigning, the ANC spent much time and money reminding voters of its liberation legacy and of the DA's white roots, even comparing the party to the former apartheid regime.On the eve of voting, Trollip's ANC opponent, Danny Jordaan, said the DA strategy of invoking Mandela's name and ideas during its campaign was akin to nailing Jesus to the cross and the next day claiming you were a Christian.Some black voters were also told they would be "black Boers" if they chose the DA, a derogatory reference to Afrikaans-speaking white farmers.In some almost exclusively black wards in Nelson Mandela Bay, the DA won up to 20 percent of the vote after barely registering in 2011 .
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