Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille is South Africa's favourite opposition politician, according to a Markinor survey released as parties wound down their campaigns ahead of the elections on Wednesday.

According to Markinor's latest omnibus survey, Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi was the most trusted opposition politician in South Africa.

President Thabo Mbeki was the most favoured and most trusted politician in the country, with an approval rating of 6,73 out of 10. De Lille's rating was 3,66.

They are followed by Buthelezi with 3,57; Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon with 3,57; United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa with 3.26; the New National Party's Marthinus van Schalkwyk with 2,79 ; the New Labour Party's Peter Marais with 2,15; the African Christian Democratic Party's Kenneth Meshoe with 2,13; the Pan Africanist Congress' Motsoko Pheko with 2,02 and the Freedom Front Plus's Pieter Mulder with 2,01.

Mbeki was the most popular among black respondents and Leon was the favourite among whites and Indians.

De Lille was most trusted by the coloured voters and was second favourite in the white community. She was also second favourite among Indians.

The supporters of the ANC, IFP, DA, UDM and NNP had the most trust in their own leaders.

Among PAC supporters Mbeki was trusted more than party leader Motsoko Pheko. FF Plus supporters trusted Leon more than they do leader Pieter Mulder.

Compared to their own leaders, DA and NNP supporters have a very high level of trust in De Lille. Peter Marais's highest level of trust comes from NNP supporters.

"However, although trust in a leader is an essential element to vote for a particular political party, it can also happen that a political leader has a stronger appeal than the party he or she represents. This can be the case with Patricia de Lille," Markinor said.

The poll was conducted between January 29 and February 20. Personal in-home interviews were conducted with 3500 randomly selected respondents. - Sapa