Nelson Mandela attended the final rally of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party Sunday, three days before nationwide elections.
The former South African president, hero of the anti-apatheid movement,
drew loud cheers from the crowd as he was driven into a sports stadium
in a golf cart.
The 90-year-old Mandela did not speak at the rally but organizers
showed a pre-recorded message, in which Mandela urged ANC leaders to
work towards eradicating poverty and building a united, non-racial
An estimated 100,000 ANC supporters attended Sunday's "Siyanqoba" - or,
"We are Winning" rally in Johannesburg in anticipation of a major
victory for the ANC and for party leader Jacob Zuma.
Zuma is expected to be chosen South Africa's next president if the ANC wins control of parliament.
Addressing the rally Sunday, Zuma made a plea for unity among all South
Africans and promised to lessen the impact of the global financial
crisis on the country.
He also said his party had no plans on changing the country's constitution.
The ANCis favored to win Wednesday's elections by a large
majority, despite the challenge of a breakaway party, the Congress of
the People, or COPE.
Leaders of the four month-old party held a rally in the northeastern
part of the country Sunday, and criticized what they view as a decline
of morality and ethics in the ANC-led government.
COPE was formed from a faction of the ANC that was angered when ANC
leaders forced South African President Thabo Mbeki to resign last year.
South Africa does not have direct presidential elections. The country
holds general elections, after which the newly-elected parliament
chooses the president.