Voting has begun in South Africa’s closest election since the end of apartheid. The elderly, disabled people, pregnant women, new mothers and members of the security forces were among those allowed to cast their ballots early. After a late rush, more than 23 million voters are registered to take part in today’s national and provincial polls in Africa’s biggest economy.
The ruling ANC continues to draw on its historic support, as the party that ended white-minority rule in 1994. That should result in its leader, Jacob Zuma, against whom corruption charges have just been dismissed, becoming president. But a revitalised opposition, including a party formed by dissident ANC leaders, could make a difference, and the ANC may not win the two-thirds parliamentary majority it seeks.