Dave van Vuuren is the 2011 Idols winner

WINNER: Dave van Vuuren
WINNER: Dave van Vuuren

SOUTH Africa has spoken. Dave van Vuuren is the 2011 M-Net Idols Season 7 winner. He was declared the winner last night after beating Mark Haze in a tightly contested competition.

After eight months of tough competition and hard work, searching for that talented individual, it came down to the wires last night.

Van Vuuren, pictured, took home R500000, a new car and R25000 worth of shopping voucher. The Cape Town-born singer said the win was the most interesting moment for him.

In an emotional-draining and very tense environment, Idols host Proverb announced Van Vuuren as the winner. The minute his name was called out, other contestants jumped to the stage celebrating with him. It was a crazy moment as family and friends filled the stage. The audience jump off their seats with joy.

Instead of watching the show from home, people came in numbers to pack the Mosaiek Teatro in Fairlands, Johannesburg, to its capacity. Asked how he felt, the over-excited Van Vuuren said: "Thank you South Africa for making my dream come true. It has not sunk in yet ..."

Haze said he was happy that Van Vuuren won. "I am happy that he won. We both knew that it was between us."

Performers last night included the Parlotones, Liquideep, Idols Top 10, Kurt Darren, Lira and last season winner Elvis Blue.