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Sapa and Sowetan Reporter
Former president Nelson Mandela has endorsed the ANC election campaign.
Mandela arrived at a rally in Idutywa, Eastern Cape, yesterday with the party president Jacob Zuma. He was accompanied by his daughter Makaziwe and grandson Mandla.
Speaking on behalf of his grandfather, Mandla said their appearance at the rally was "to confirm their ANC membership and support for the party".
Mandla said they were at the rally to "dispel any notion by anybody, anywhere who thinks that anybody within the Mandela family, particularly Nelson, were not supporting the ANC".
Mandela's appearance was the first at a political event in some years since he retired from active politics. The elder statesman has steered clear of politics and power struggles that have hurt the ANC over the past few years.
Last month he sent a letter to the ANC which was read by his daughter Zindzi during the party's election manifesto launch in East London.
In the message Mandela said he would die a member of the ANC and would be buried by the party. He went on to say that his generation of leaders had played their role in building the ANC and delivering freedom to the majority, it was now in the hands of the new leadership to take the baton.
Mandela's appearance at yesterday's rally is seen as a major boost for Zuma who is expected to be the country's president, despite facing corruption charges related to the multi-billion arms deal. The ANC is widely expected to win the election but it faces a challenge from the newly launched Congress of the People (Cope).
While Cope is not expected to win the election, it could break the ANC's two-thirds majority in Parliament. Cope has opened up the political landscape in what some critics have described as akin to a one-party state.