Zuma: Mandela vote no secret
Johannesburg - Who former president Nelson Mandela voted for is no secret, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.
"As you know, his vote is not a secret... he voted for his organisation [the ANC]," Zuma said after a visit with the Nobel Laureate.
Zuma, wearing a light grey suit, laughed and exchanged light hearted banter with the media contingent outside the Mandela home in Houghton, telling them to vote in Wednesday's poll.
He zipped into the driveway of the Houghton mansion in his official car, surrounded by a convoy of black, blue-light cars, and emerged to speak to journalists after lunching with Mandela over an hour later.
Zuma congratulated the former statesman for casting his ballot - he said this encouraged all South Africans to follow his lead.
Mandela cast his ballot at home on Monday.
"I came to pay my usual visit to Madiba today before I leave for my voting station in Nkandla... to congratulate him for voting in the special vote yesterday.
"People in the country should take lessons from him that voting is important.
"I think it really gave encouragement to all of us... Madiba understands the importance of the vote," Zuma said.
"The vote helps to influence the direction of things."
He said Mandela was recovering well and was in good spirits.
Mandela, 92, was discharged from hospital in February after being treated for a respiratory infection. He was later moved to his home in Houghton where he is under 24-hour supervision by a medical team.
Zuma briefed Mandela on the ANC's election campaign and received well wishes from him ahead of Wednesday's poll.
Mandela retired from politics in 1999 and from public life in 2004, but continues to play a key role in South African politics.
His name is used to invoke deep emotions and patriotism by everyone from ANC members to opposition leaders.
Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille told would-be voters in Khayelitsha on Saturday that the DA was the only party capable of keeping Mandela’s legacy alive.
"We are working hard to build Madiba's vision," she said.
Last month, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema used Mandela's name in a speech urging his supporters to vote for the ANC.
"President Mandela is sick and you don't want to contribute to a worsening condition of Mandela by not voting ANC.
"President Mandela will never endure if the ANC is out of power," he said.
Mandela was South Africa's first democratically elected president after spending 27 years in apartheid prisons, and led the final the push for democracy.