Business, Economics and Jobs

South Africa: Mandela votes early


Former South African President Nelson Mandela Mandela after voting in local elections is flanked by his daughter Princess Zenani Dlamini, left, and granddaughter Ndileka Mandela at in Johannesburg, South Africa, Monday, May 16, 2011.


Peter Morey/Mandela Family

South Africa is going to the polls on May 18 to elect local officials. Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela cast an early ballot in the upcoming local elections.

Independent Elections Commission Chairman Brigalia Bam says the 92-year-old statesman and Nobel peace laureate voted privately Monday at his Johannesburg home under observation of officials.

Bam says Mandela appeared in good health as he cast his vote. Mandela has not been seen in public since he was hospitalized in January with respiratory complications.

Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after serving 27 years in prison for his fight against white minority rule.

Current South African president Jacob Zuma has continued to stir up controversy. Zuma has promised poor South African women that his government will offer free sanitary pads to poor women. Some women have welcomed Zuma's campaign pledge. Others criticize it, saying that Zuma is using the promise of free sanitary pads to distract voters from more serious problems of rape and violence against women.