Johannesburg (Fides Service)- In South Africans went to the polls in an orderly and peaceful manner to place their votes for legislative and regional elections yesterday 14 April (see Fides 14 April 2004). “The people of South Africa have assimilated the spirit of democracy and this is certainly a positive factor” Scalabrini Father Mario of the “Scalabrini Development Agency” in Cape Town told Fides. “Unfortunately there were some problems with organisation and some booths were not closed at the right time. In some rural areas electricity failures slowed down the vote, and there were other difficulties in other regions”.
The official results will be announced on Monday 19 April but the first exit polls put the African National Congress (ANC) in the lead with 66% of the votes, a sharp fall on the New National Party, (party founded by apartheid directors) and the Inkatha Freedom Party, a Zulu party, both said to have gained only half the votes won in the previous elections. Good results are expected for the Democratic Alliance and a new party, the Democratic Independents, led by Patricia de Lille. (L.M) (Agenzia Fides 15/4/2004 righe parole)