Africa

Deadly election season for South Africa's candidates

  • A man passes an African National Congress, ANC, political poster, right, in the township of Khayelitsha on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. South Africa's ruling party faces a robust challenge in municipal elections on Wednesday from opposition groups seeking to capitalize on scandals linked to President Jacob Zuma. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    A man passes an African National Congress, ANC, political poster, right, in the township of Khayelitsha on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. South Africa's ruling party faces a robust challenge in municipal elections on Wednesday from opposition groups seeking to capitalize on scandals linked to President Jacob Zuma. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • An elderly voter arrives at a polling station to cast an early vote on the eve of the country's municipal elections in Johannesburg, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. This election season has been deadly for candidates and party activists in South Africa, with more than 12 killed ahead of Wednesday's vote. National police have determined it a serious enough problem to create a task force to investigate the deaths, most occurring in KwaZulu-Natal province. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

    An elderly voter arrives at a polling station to cast an early vote on the eve of the country's municipal elections in Johannesburg, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. This election season has been deadly for candidates and party activists in South Africa, with more than 12 killed ahead of Wednesday's vote. National police have determined it a serious enough problem to create a task force to investigate the deaths, most occurring in KwaZulu-Natal province. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)  (The Associated Press)

  • Children leave their school which is being used as polling station, on the eve of the country's municipal elections in Johannesburg, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. This election season has been deadly for candidates and party activists in South Africa, with more than 12 killed ahead of Wednesday's vote. National police have determined it a serious enough problem to create a task force to investigate the deaths, most occurring in KwaZulu-Natal province. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

    Children leave their school which is being used as polling station, on the eve of the country's municipal elections in Johannesburg, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. This election season has been deadly for candidates and party activists in South Africa, with more than 12 killed ahead of Wednesday's vote. National police have determined it a serious enough problem to create a task force to investigate the deaths, most occurring in KwaZulu-Natal province. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)  (The Associated Press)

This election season has been deadly for candidates and party activists in South Africa, with more than 12 killed ahead of Wednesday's vote.

National police have determined it a serious enough problem to create a task force to investigate the deaths, most occurring in KwaZulu-Natal province.

An analyst says one motivation behind the killings is the chance of a steady job in a country where more than a quarter of people are unemployed.

President Jacob Zuma's office urges peaceful municipal elections. Campaigning in many parts of the country has been calm.

The ruling African National Congress faces a serious challenge in important areas. Those include the commercial center, Johannesburg; the Tshwane metro area around the capital, Pretoria; and the municipality named after the ANC's star, Nelson Mandela Bay.