Early results have given South Africa’s ANC a big lead in the general election, paving the way for controversial party leader Jacob Zuma to become president. The ANC has 64% – just short of the two-thirds majority it would need if it wanted to change the constitution.

anc-leadsWith a quarter of votes counted, the Democratic Alliance has 21% and the newly formed Cope just 8%. Turnout was high at 77%. A Cope leader was shot dead but the vote appeared otherwise peaceful.

The final, official results will not be known for days but the margin of the ANC’s victory may become clear later on Thursday. Charges of corruption against Mr Zuma were dropped just two weeks before the poll after state prosecutors said there had been political interference in the case.

With parliament electing the president, it looks likely that an ANC-controlled assembly will emerge to pick Mr Zuma as the country’s leader next month.



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