Saturday 24 March 2018

ANC wins fifth term in power with over 60pc of the votes

South African President Jacob Zuma greets supporters of the ANC after voting. Photo: REUTERS/Rogan Ward
South African President Jacob Zuma greets supporters of the ANC after voting. Photo: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Aislinn Laing

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has been assured of a fifth term in power after securing more than 60pc of votes cast from the first three-quarters of voting districts to be counted in national elections.

The early results – despite being down on the ANC's 65.9pc share of the vote in 2009 – mean President Jacob Zuma will almost certainly have the political clout he needs to push through pro-business reforms in the face of union and left-wing opposition.

Jackson Mthembu, the ANC's spokesman, said its leaders were "impressed" that they already had five million backers by mid-afternoon yesterday.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the newly formed party of Julius Malema, the left-wing radical and ANC rebel, gained at least 14 seats in parliament and beat established parties to take third place, with about 5pc of the vote.

Mr Malema, a former protege of Mr Zuma who has called for land grabs, mine nationalisation and wage increases for millions of the country's lowest-paid workers, is likely to be a vocal thorn in the side of the ANC in parliament.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, the EFF's spokesman, said the half-a-million people whose votes for the party had been counted by mid-afternoon yesterday were a strong indication that South Africa was losing patience with the ANC.

"Most of us want to be part of running this country, so it is very important that we listen attentively to what they have to say," he said.

The share of the vote won by the Democratic Alliance, South Africa's largest opposition party, rose from 16pc in 2009 to about 22pc.

In the parallel provincial election, it held on comfortably to the Western Cape, which it already governs.

With results still awaited from Pretoria and Johannesburg – where anger at the government runs highest – Helen Zille, the Democratic Alliance, leader, said she still hoped that in the surrounding Gauteng province the ANC could be forced below 50pc. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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