More than half of votes counted

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pretoria - More than half of the votes have now been counted in South Africa's 2009 General Election, with the African National Congress (ANC) still holding the majority of the votes.

Excitement at the Independent Electoral Office's Results Operation Centre reached a pinnacle as the vote counting tipped the 8.8 million mark.

According to the IEC's results leader board placed in front of the centre, the ANC is approaching the 3 million mark with 5 948 015 votes.

The Democratic Alliance is currently placed second on the list with 1 360 844 votes and new kid on the block the Congress of the People (Cope) has received 66 8853 votes.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has 27 4351 votes, the Independent Democrats has 98 433 votes, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) has 30370 votes and the Freedom Front Plus trails with 74389 votes.

While various party representatives have been watching the leader board closely, they have been exchanging pleasantries - ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe gave ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe a hug and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa gave Mr Mantashe a hand shake.

The Deputy President Baleka Mbete and Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma have also been spotted at the centre.

Gauteng Premier Pual Mashatile told BuaNews that he was pleased with the progress made by the ANC and said the party would "emerge victorious."

Meanwhile, the final election results for the Gauteng province is expected at 5pm on Friday, says the Gauteng Provincial Office of the Independent Electoral Commission.

So far the province has processed 1 196 577 votes for the national election and 1 389 036 votes have been fully processed for the provincial election.

"The final announcement of the Gauteng provincial result is estimated to be at 5pm on 24 April 2009," said the Provincial Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo.

Gauteng has the largest voting population in the country standing at 5.5 million registered voters. There were also 2295 voting stations set up throughout the province.