Pretoria - Loud cheers erupted at the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) national results centre on Thursday night as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) breached the one million votes mark in the country's general election.

Just before 10pm, the EFF seemed set to shore up its position as the second largest opposition party when it hit 1,016,588 votes. It was still trailing the Democratic Alliance, who had more than double the amount of votes.

The African National Congress ruled the IEC results leader board with 5,858,823 votes or 57 percent of the votes so far, and if this percentage does not increase as more votes are captured on the system, it would mean a five percent drop in support nationally.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) earlier overtook surprise top five contender in the election race, Freedom Front Plus (FF+), as the fourth biggest party in South Africa.

The results system, with two thirds of all votes captured on the system 24 hours after polls closed, reflected electoral support as follows: 

* ANC at 56.7 percent;

* DA at 22.5 percent;

* EFF at 9.84 percent;

* IFP at 2.75 percent;

* FF+ at 2.6 percent;

* ACDP at 0.96 percent;

* GOOD at 0.55 percent;

* UDM at 0.54 percent;

* ATM at 0.48 percent. 

Congress of the People (COPE) and African Independent Congress (AIC) had just over 30 000 votes and would need a few thousand more to get a seat in the National Assembly. Both parties currently have three MPs in Parliament.

African News Agency (ANA)