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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

ANC Alleges Inkatha Vote Irregularities

JOHANNESBURG -- Nelson Mandela's African National Congress on Wednesday accused its Inkatha Freedom Party rival of massive electoral fraud in South Africa's Zulu heartland, but the body in charge of South Africa's historic elections said it had found no evidence to support the charge. "Thus far, no evidence has emerged of any coordinated so-called 'widescale' fraud having occurred in the province," the Independent Electoral Commission said in a statement. The ANC, acclaimed the election winner with less than half the votes counted, had accused the Zulu-dominated Inkatha Freedom Party of ballot rigging in volatile KwaZulu-Natal, where the two are fighting for control of the regional assembly. "We believe Inkatha had its own pirate polling stations, 54 of them," charged Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesman for the ANC, which is heading for a landslide win in voting for a national assembly and seven out of nine post-apartheid regional assemblies. But the electoral commission said reports of pirate voting stationswere "substantially false," although its investigations were continuing. Political analysts said the crisis could provoke more violence in the region where 10,000 people have been killed in ANC-Inkatha turf wars over the past decade. Inkatha leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Wednesday he found the ANC allegations "quite extraordinary." "I don't know what the aim of this is," Buthelezi said, adding, "they'll be opening a Pandora's box. We love this country far too much for that." With about 53 percent of the votes counted by Tuesday night, the electoral commission suspended the announcement of results, saying it needed to speed up slow counting procedures The ANC had 62.5 percent of the national vote, the National Party 22.1 percent and Inkatha 8.3 percent. Inkatha led in the KwaZulu-Natal regional assembly with 53.5 percent against the ANC's 32 percent.