South Africa’s Zuma set for fresh term as ANC leads in election

South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma

An ANC victory would return President Jacob Zuma for a second five-year term.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, ANC, has taken a strong lead in Thursday’s general election, confirming pre-election prediction and set to give President Jacob Zuma another term.

The elections are South Africa’s fifth after apartheid.

With about 70% of the results in, the ANC has 63% of the vote followed by its main challenge Democratic Alliance on 22%, the country’s electoral commission said.

Controversial youth leader, Julius Malema’s party, The Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF, party is in third place with 5%.

Twenty nine parties are taking part in the election, and about 25 million South Africans- half the population- registered to vote.

An ANC victory would return President Jacob Zuma for a second five-year term. Mr. Zuma has faced allegations of corruption ahead of the polls after an independent investigator found that he had cornered public funds to upgrade his private home.

The electoral commission said voting passed off peacefully in most areas, with turnout at just over 72%. The ANC said one of its members was shot dead outside a polling station in rural KwaZulu-Natal, Mr. Zuma’s home province.

The election is the first to feature voters born after apartheid-called free born. But only a third of those entitled to vote registered.

Speaking as he cast his vote on Wednesday, Mr Zuma said he thought “the results will be very good”, but added that the campaign had been “very challenging”.

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