A vote of confidence

By most accounts, yesterday's elections were a defining moment for our nation. This is best illustrated by the record number of South Africans who heeded the call to make their voices heard.

As expected of a project that included more than 20million people voting in about 20000 voting stations, it was not perfect. A few miscreants sought to spoil the occasion by thinking up all sorts of underhand scams.

Nature also tried its part unleashing an uncharacteristically cold and wet April weather in many areas of the country. But still, South Africans braved the elements and the snaking queues to choose their leaders of the next five years.

The Independent Electoral Commission deserves praise for an almost perfect execution of a difficult task of managing millions of people waiting to vote. It is another feather to its cap that the IEC remained transparent about the challenges that inevitably beset them as they pulled off a mission of this magnitude.

Whatever the outcome of the poll, South Africans can be proud of themselves. They have spoken and democracy has won. They have again defeated projections of doom. We dare say that the polls were free, fair and peaceful.

The joyous night for the human spirit referred to by Nelson Mandela in 1994 continues.