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Last updated at 12:50 BST, Wednesday, 22 April 2009

South Africa poll


22 April 2009

In South Africa, the governing African National Congress, led by Jacob Zuma, is expected to win today's election, but the ANC is facing its first serious opposition since the end of apartheid.

Peter Biles in Johannesburg

Queuing to vote (Sandton in Johannesburg, picture sent in by Gary Meyer)


Click to hear the report:


For the past 15 years, the African National Congress has been the party of choice for most South Africans. No-one doubts the ANC will achieve a convincing victory, but it could lose its two-thirds majority.

The ANC is being challenged by a new breakaway party, the Congress of the People, and by the long-standing official opposition, the Democratic Alliance. They both accuse the ANC of corruption and cronyism.

The ANC leader, Jacob Zuma, who's had corruption charges against him dropped, looks confident and secure. He's now just one step away from becoming President. South Africans have yet to find out what kind of leader he'll be. But on the eve of the polls, Mr Zuma tried to offer reassurance. He said the transition to a new government would be smooth.

Peter Biles, BBC News, Johannesburg


Click to hear the words:


the party of choice
the favourite party, the party that people are the likeliest to vote for
achieve a convincing victory
win by a significant majority
breakaway party
here, a new party whose members are former members of the ANC
that has been there/existed for a long time
doing favours for friends or colleagues, especially in politics
just one step away from
very close to
have yet to find out
here, don't know yet (but will know/learn once Mr Zuma has become President)
on the eve of
the day before
to offer reassurance
to say things with the intention of making someone else feel less worried
the transition to a new government would be smooth
in the near future, there would be no significant changes either in the government policy or in the structure of the society