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Last Updated: Monday, 9 February, 2004, 12:12 GMT
S Africa election date announced
Thabo Mbeki
Thabo Mbeki is expected to be re-elected
President Thabo Mbeki has said that South Africa's elections will be held on 14 April.

President Mbeki made the announcement to the national assembly.

In Friday's state of the nation address, he said the government had delivered on basic needs like housing, electricity and water.

Polls suggest that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) could secure another large majority in parliament, with Mr Mbeki retaining the presidency.

This will be South Africa's third democratic election since the end of apartheid in 1994.

The new president is expected to be sworn in on 27 April, 10 years after the first post-apartheid elections, which saw Nelson Mandela becoming president.

'Shadow of democracy'

Mr Mbeki said that because the date had now been announced, the voters' roll would be closed at midnight on Wednesday.

The president is elected by the 400 members of the national assembly.

South Africa's largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) have formed a coalition to run against the ANC.

The opposition coalition claims that the country is becoming a "shadow of democracy" because of its domination by the ANC.

Meanwhile, South African police are investigating a shooting incident where seven people were injured during a Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) rally in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.

Gunmen allegedly wearing ANC T-shirts had opened fire at the Wembesi community hall where IFP was holding a rally.

Tensions have been rising between the ruling ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party, which controls the province.




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