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South Africa Votes in 6th Democratic Poll After Apartheid

South Africa Votes in Sixth Democratic Poll after Apartheid
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South Africans are voting in a historic national poll, 25 years after the end of apartheid, that could present the biggest challenge yet to the long-ruling African National Congress. While many voters in the nation’s economic hub said they were conflicted about their choice, many also said they cherished the chance to participate in Africa’s most mature democracy.

A historic day as South Africa holds its sixth parliamentary elections since the nation ended apartheid in 1994.

And for the sixth time in a row, the ruling African National Congress is expected to win and retain power.

South Africans cast their votes at the Hitekani Primary School in Soweto, Johannesburg, May 8, 2019.
South Africans cast their votes at the Hitekani Primary School in Soweto, Johannesburg, May 8, 2019.

But corruption scandals and the sluggish economy have tainted the ANC’s image and led some voters to defect to opposition parties like the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters.

In the South Africa’s economic hub, some younger voters say they struggled to choose.

Londiwe Mngadi is an engineering student. She said, “It felt exciting, and a bit challenging, because of the different parties that are there. But I was very much excited to exercise my right today.”

'Choice is simple'

Other voters, like long-time ANC supporter Bobby Madhav, said the choice was simple.

“Pretty easy. There’s only one party that we’ve grown up with in the struggle. And we hope that they do the right thing going forward,” he said.

South African journalist Mmusi Mogotlane said the next government has a big job on its hands.

“The main problem South Africa has to deal with first is fighting the demon we call corruption within our government structures. If we can deal with that, and we are able to make sure that the money, that the fiscus has is distributed equally in society to improve the lives and to make sure that those who are responsible for corruption are punished -- and are punished severely -- then there is a direction South Africa can take for the improvement of everyone’s else’s life,” said Mogotlane.

Final results are expected by May 11. The winning party will elect the next president, who will be sworn in later this month.