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South Africa/Politics: National elections hold 7 May, 2014

South Africa’s general elections will be held on 7 May 2014,  President Jacob Zuma announced here Friday. He said the poll would be particularly historic because “they take place during the 20th anniversary of our freedom from apartheid bondage”. 

'We have worked hard to build a peaceful and stable South Africa from the ruins of apartheid violence, divisions and hatred,' he said.

President Zuma, who met with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), said he was satisfied that its preparations were at an advanced stage and the poll would be free and fair.

This weekend marks the last opportunity for eligible voters to register for the poll.

Meanwhile, a new spat has broken out between the Office of the Presidency and Helen Zille, the leader of the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), after the President's office slammed her for 'leaking confidential information'.

Zille had tweeted about the election before Zuma’s announcement, saying: 'Election date due to be announced today. This weekend is your last chance to REGISTER to vote. Take charge and bring change and jobs to SA!'

President Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj said Zille leaked information that arose during a confidential consultation with her and other political leaders to discuss election preparations and charged her to 'respect confidentiality and not abuse the privilege and trust accorded to her”.

The Presidency said Zuma's programme and activities are communicated by his office and not by Zille.

Zille has responded by accusing the Presidency of over-reacting because she never revealed the date of the election.

Pana 08/02/2014