Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Mandela grandson enters politics

Mandla Mandela (left) and Nelson Mandela (right)
Mandla Mandela has been on the campaign trail with his grandfather

The grandson of South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela is entering politics ahead of April's elections.

The governing African National Congress says Mandla Mandela is on its list of parliamentary candidates.

The elections are set to be the most interesting since Mr Mandela became president in 1994, ending apartheid.

A new opposition party - the Congress of the People (Cope) - was formed in December by dissidents unhappy with Jacob Zuma's leadership of the ANC.

On Wednesday, the most high-profile defector from the ANC - former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka - appeared at a Cope meeting.

It was her first appearance after much speculation about her role in the breakaway party.

Obviously his family has the legacy of Nelson Mandela... so certainly there will be a lot of expectations of him
ANC spokesman Brian Sokutu

She resigned as deputy president soon after Thabo Mbeki was sacked as the country's president last September, after a fall-out with Mr Zuma.

Mandla Mandela is a businessman with ties to Mr Zuma, who is the front-runner to become president.

"Obviously his family has the legacy of Nelson Mandela, the world renowned icon of our struggle, so certainly there will be a lot of expectations of him," ANC spokesman Brian Sokutu said.

Mr Zuma has remained popular despite the shadow of corruption hanging over him.

Correspondents say Cope could win enough votes to deny the ANC a two-thirds majority in parliament, needed to change the constitution.

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