Former South African President Nelson Mandela has joined ruling ANC leader Jacob Zuma at an electoral rally in a “historic show of confidence” ahead of an April 22 poll, the ANC said on Sunday. In his first appearance at a campaigning event before the parliamentary vote, Mandela, 90, addresses a rally in the Eastern Cape along with Zuma, the African National Congress (ANC) said.

The province is expected to be a main battleground in the election; the ANC is widely expected to win, despite facing its first serious political challenges since the end of apartheid from COPE, a party made up of ANC defectors.

Elder statesman Mandela, who led his country out of apartheid, has steered clear of politics and power struggles that have hurt the ANC over the past few years. His appearance alongside Zuma will be seen as an endorsement of the man who is expected to become president after the election, despite facing a revived corruption case that has dogged him for the years.



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