While opinion polls point to the ruling African National Congress extending its quarter-century monopoly on power in Wednesday's vote, Ramaphosa needs a decisive win to quell opposition in his faction-riven party to push through reforms needed to spur growth in Africa's most-industrialized economy.
The Economic Freedom Fighters, founded six years ago by former ANC youth leader Julius Malema, was in third place with 10 percent.
Electoral officials say a tally from 90% of the vote may be announced later Thursday, although final results may not be announced until Saturday. The partial results show it at eight percent.
"I like this party with all of my heart", she said. The number of votes won by each party determines how many representatives are sent to the national 400-seat legislature.
Ramaphosa will face pressure for more radical measures to redistribute wealth within South Africa, one of the world's most unequal countries.
The ANC's reputation was badly sullied under Zuma.
At the last election in 2014, the ANC won 62 percent, the DA 22 percent and the EFF 6 percent.The rand firmed against the dollar in early trade on Thursday, but traders said the currency was expected to be volatile as poll results emerge.
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In a statement , the Senate Intel Committee said: "We do not discuss the details of witness engagements with the Committee". Barr refused to testify before the Democratic-controlled committee last week after a dispute over the hearing's format.
The election comes 25 years after Nelson Mandela led the African National Congress to power in the country's first multi-racial vote which marked the end of apartheid.
Initial results showed the ANC ahead, but with a much slimmer lead than it had held in previous elections - and also turned up surprises, in the form of allegations of double-voting and in the unexpected success of a small party that critics say has a white nationalist agenda.
"All party members are 100% behind him", he said at the national elections centre in Pretoria.
The party has been confronted by deepening public anger over its failure to tackle poverty and inequality in post-apartheid South Africa.
"We have given them 25 years but the poor are getting poorer and the rich richer", said voter Anmareth Preece, 28, a teacher.
Young people queuing to vote spoke of their difficulties in finding jobs, with unemployment at 27%.
Voters queue to cast their ballots in South Africa's parliamentary and provincial elections, in Alexandra township, Johannesburg, South Africa, May 8, 2019.
Rather than switching to the opposition parties, many South Africans did not vote at all. There is no party that is a threat to us.
"We have made mistakes but we have been sorry about those mistakes and we are saying our people should reinvest their confidence in us", he said.
In spite of concerns from some stakeholders about the competence of the IEC's ad hoc staff at the local level, the AUEOM said the elections "proceeded generally well and within a conducive environment that ensured citizens exercised their right to vote".