Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 15:58 UK

In pictures: South Africa campaign

ANC supporters

Campaigning is entering the final stages ahead of South Africa's 22 April elections. They are seen as the most keenly contested polls since the end of apartheid in 1994.

ANC supporters

In the run-up to elections, ruling ANC supporters have expressed loyalty to party leader Jacob Zuma, after corruption charges against him were dropped - prompting criticisms from opponents.

Cope supporters

The Congress of the People (Cope) was formed last year by a group of ANC dissidents. It hopes to provide a strong challenge to the ruling party, which currently enjoys a two-thirds majority in parliament.

Cope supporters

Cope's emergence as a political force has changed South Africa's political landscape. The party says it offers the possibility of change, since the ANC has been in power since 1994.

IFP poster

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) draws its support largely from the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal as its base of supporters is predominantly Zulu.

 Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who founded the IFP in 1975, has become the elder statesman of South Africa's political scene.

Democratic Alliance supporters holding a poster

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is currently the largest opposition party, with 47 National Assembly members.

A Democratic Alliance poster in Cape Town

The DA is particularly popular in Cape Town where its leader, Helen Zille, is mayor and enjoys widespread support.

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