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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: ‘People of SA will give ANC firm majority in elections’ – Ramaphosa

According to experts, the elections are the most hotly contested polls since the dawn of democracy 30 years ago.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is confident South Africans will give the African National Congress (ANC) a majority in the national and provincial elections.

Millions of South Africans gathered early on Wednesday morning to cast their ballot in the country’s seventh democratic elections.

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According to experts, the elections are the most hotly contested polls since the dawn of democracy 30 years ago. The governing ANC is expected to dip below the 50% mark for the first time.

Watch President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking about the ANC getting a majority in the elections

Ramaphosa and his first lady Tshepo Motsepe cast their ballots at the Hitekani Primary School in Chiawelo, Soweto.

ANC majority

He is confident South Africans will vote for the ANC, despite the party being marred by factions and rampant corruption.

“The people of South Africa will give the ANC as they vote today a firm majority. So, in my mind, in my head and in my though processes there isn’t even a doubt about that. The ANC under my leadership ran a formidable campaign.

“We went through the length and the breath of the country to reach out to our people and to also make those who may well have been doubtful voting and to be encouraged to vote,” Ramphosa said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘SA showing world we have embraced constitutional democracy’ − Pandor

Young people

Ramaphosa added that he was encouraged to see young people registering to vote.

“We kept on urging the people of our country that we want to run a clean campaign which we did and we are determined to ensure that democracy is the winner in this whole election. So, in the end it’s the democratic process in our country that is going to emerge victorious and the ANC will reap a dividend from that by emerging as  the winning party.”

Court action

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party are hauling Ramaphosa to the Electoral Court over his recent address to the nation.

During his family meeting on Sunday, Ramaphosa highlighted the “achievements” of the sixth administration, including tackling corruption, handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, tackling corruption and gender-based violence and reducing load shedding, among other issues.

The DA and MK party claim Ramaphosa violated the Electoral Code of Conduct, specifically Section 9(2)(e). It prohibits any candidate or party from abusing a position of power to influence the outcome of elections.

ALSO READ: MK party wants Ramaphosa jailed for ‘abusing office for political gain’

The DA wants Ramaphosa to pay a R200,000 fine and the ANC to be docked 1% of the national vote.

The MK party has asked the Electoral Court to cancel the ANC’s registration and initiate criminal proceedings against Ramaphosa.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s party further wants Ramaphosa to be held accountable for allegedly abusing his office for political gain.