AFRICAN National Congress leader Jacob Zuma appeared before a cheering crowd, as his party headed for a clear victory in South Africaâ€™s general election.
Zuma â€” set to be the next president â€” said the ANC had put across its policies and people had understood.
With about half of all ballots in, the ANC had about 66% of the vote. But it is still not clear whether the party will retain the two-thirds parliamentary majority needed to push through constitutional changes.
The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has about 16% and the Congress of the People â€” formed as a direct challenge to the ANC â€” is trailing with about 8%.
The DA was ahead in Western Cape province, which is currently controlled by the ANC, with almost 50% of the vote.
Election officials put turn-out at between 77% and 80%. Formal election results are not expected until later on Thursday or on Friday.
In Johannesburg, crowds of ANC supporters attended a celebration rally.
â€œI would like to thank you for tonight,â€ Jacob Zuma told the crowd, after dancing on stage.
â€œWe went to the voters of this country, talked to them and put across our polices â€” and they have understood what we are saying,â€ he said.
DA leader Helen Zille said her party was pleased. â€œWe are just above 50% in the Western Cape, that is what we were hoping for because it means we have doubled our numbers since last time,â€ she said.Â â€” BBC.