South Africans vote in general election

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South Africans queue to vote as an armored police vehicle provides security at a polling station that was burned down overnight, but a tent was erected to vote at in the morning, in the politically-sensitive mining town of Bekkersdal. AP
Voting has begun in South Africa\’s fifth general election since apartheid ended two decades ago, and the first in which the generation born after the end of apartheid casts its ballots.
Electoral officials said on Wednesday that most polling stations across the country opened on time in a general election that is expected to see the African National Congress (ANC) party retain power.
For the first time, the electorate includes a so-called "born free" generation, with birthdays after apartheid rule in South Africa ended in April 1994.
Some eligible voters say they are disappointed that the ruling African National Congress has failed to extend basic services like clean water and electricity to all South Africans. Others are disgusted by the wave of corruption allegations that has washed over the ANC\’s leader, President Jacob Zuma.
Nonetheless, polls say the ANC is still expected to win more than 60 percent of the popular vote, which would keep Zuma in office for a second five-year term.
About 29 parties featuring on the national ballot will vie for the votes of 25 million South Africans registered to participate in the polls.
Wednesday\’s elections marks 20 years since South Africa\’s first democratic election following almost five decades of apartheid rule.
Results are expected May 10.
The opposition Democratic Alliance expects a strong turnout in urban areas but still struggles to appeal to mainstream black voters.
Rule by the white minority in South Africa ended on April 27, 1994, when the ANC won the first multi-racial elections. Then-ANC leader Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as president the following month.
Nearly 2,000 military personnel will assist police in ensuring security during the election.
Source: Agencies

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