Opposition leaders voted and called for a break with Mandela's ANC

26.8 million South African voters go to the polls today to choose the future President. The leaders of the major parties have already voted

The President Cyril Ramaphosa of the African National Congress (ANC), a ruling party since 1994 and the favorite to win today's general elections (despite widespread corruption and record unemployment) has voted today at Chiawelo primary school, in the Soweto township. A crowd of supporters greeted and embraced Ramaphosa. The polls indicate him as the potential winner of this scrutiny.

According to Africanews, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, voted in a primary school in Sheshego, Limpopo. The former ANC leader and founder of the EFF in 2013 made the following statement when leaving the place: "If people want to remain unemployed, landless and perpetually corrupt, then they should continue to vote in the same party they have always voted for. But if you want change, EFF is the way forward." The EFF is a recent political force, marked by a populism that emerged on the far left, fueled by disenchantment with the ANC where Malema militated.

Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) party - a center and liberal party traditionally associated with the white minority vote - also voted in Soweto. In 2015, Maimane became the first black leader of the DA. "On this historic day it is important to vote here in Soweto, with the people of Soweto expressing hope for the future of the country. Soweto represents to me, in many ways, the place where the struggle began. And now we are entering a new struggle, a job struggle for many South Africans and that is why I urge the people to go massively to the polls today. It is a historic moment and our nation is in transition again," Maimane said after casting his vote.

Legislative and provincial elections are included in the ballot. The frustration in the country is enormous, justified by poor economic indicators and rampant corruption, 25 years after Mandela came to power.

The Independent Electoral Commission (CIS) should report the first official results the day after the voting day. If there are no candidates contesting the results, the CEI has a maximum period of seven days to disclose the official results. Then, the parliamentary steps begin to appoint the new President of the country but the ceremony already has a scheduled date: May 25, in the city of Pretoria.

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