ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe on Thursday refused to declare victory or defeat after early results showed that the party was likely to lose electoral support.

"We are in the middle of the results, only about 30% is out, you want us declare victory or claim defeat?" asked Mantashe.

He said the ANC was leading and doing well and would in all likelihood continue governing the country.

"Whether there is a decline or increase, with the results as they are now we will govern," Mantashe insisted.

He said he was confident the ANC would not have to form a coalition to remain in charge of national government.

According to Mantashe, he had no reason to doubt the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC's) professionalism despite several objections and complaints about voting stations failing to open and shortage of ballot papers across the country.

The IEC is expected to provide and update on the counting process following Wednesday's polls.

Video: Loyiso Sidimba

Mantashe visited the commission's national results operations centre and was met by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, party spokesperson Pule Mabe and national executive committee member Nkenke Kekana.

Just before midday on Thursday, the ANC had secured 55.6% of the votes nationally while the DA was second with 25.1% and the EFF at 8.8%.

At the time, just under 35% of votes cast had been counted and declared.

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Political Bureau