A man holds a candidate poster of the South African ruling party African National Congress on the eve of South African Municipal elections on Aug. 2, 2016 in Vuwani. / AFP / MUJAHID SAFODIEN
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South Africans voted Wednesday in closely-contested municipal elections that could deal a heavy blow to the African National Congress (ANC) that has ruled since leading the struggle against apartheid.Nelson Mandela's former party risks losing control of key cities including the capital Pretoria, the economic hub Johannesburg and coastal Port Elizabeth, according to some polls.President Jacob Zuma retains widespread support, especially in rural areas, and the ANC's patronage network and deep coffers could help it maintain a hold in the majority of the 278 municipalities.Adding to the uncertainty is the revolutionary socialist EFF party, which has not stood in municipal elections before and has drawn large crowds to its rallies.The ANC expelled Malema in 2012 for poor discipline.A record 26.3 million people are registered to vote, but low turnout may be a factor more than two decades after the euphoric 1994 elections that brought Nelson Mandela to power.
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