ANC's two-thirds majority slips

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pretoria - Tensions ran high at the Independent Electoral Office's (IEC) Results Operation Centre in Pretoria earlier this afternoon when the African National Congress lost the two thirds majority it held earlier.

At around 6pm, the leader board at the centre indicated that the party had slipped below their earlier 67 percent which secured a two thirds majority rule. The figure slipped to 66.32 percent.

However, the ANC is still dominating the elections with the Democratic Alliance following with 16.10 percent and the Congress of the People securing 7.46 percent so far.

The IEC, which counted more than 16 million votes as the second day of vote counting wrapped up, indicated that the official results would be announced on Saturday. It has put voter turnout at 77 percent.

Mayor of Tshwane and ANC member Gwen Ramokgopa said all parties at the centre were crossing their fingers.

"We [the ANC] are crossing our fingers for our two-thirds majority and the smaller parties are hoping for more votes. Tensions will remain high until the final results are announced," she told BuaNews.

Meanwhile, former first lady Zanele Mbeki has made an appearance at the IEC results centre causing a stir among the media.

Ms Mbeki, married to former President Thabo Mbeki, was accompanied by Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chairperson Brigalia Bam who explained how the facilities at the centre work.

She declined to speak to media but instead focused her attention on the results displayed on the leader board as another IEC official explained how it operated.

Ms Mbeki spoke to representatives of various political parties including representatives from the A Party. She also went around to desks of several parties, including the African National Congress.