Take a bow, SA. You are great

A nostalgic President Cyril Ramaphosa and his spouse, Dr Tshepo Motsepe casting their votes at Hitekani Primary School, Chiawelo, Soweto, where he grew up.
A nostalgic President Cyril Ramaphosa and his spouse, Dr Tshepo Motsepe casting their votes at Hitekani Primary School, Chiawelo, Soweto, where he grew up.
Image: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Congratulations to SA for holding peaceful and successful sixth democratic general elections yesterday.

Most reports said there was joy and laughter as millions of citizens braved the cold weather across the country to cast their ballots.

About 26.7 million people were registered to vote and it seemed most of them had gone out to exercise their democratic rights.

Some voting stations even ran out of their portions of the 60 million ballot papers printed by the Independent Elections Commission but it said it replenished those centres.

"South Africans are out there in their numbers. Nothing is going to dissuade them from recording their political choices," said IEC head Sy Mamabolo.

However, there were minor glitches in some areas as 17 out of the 22 924 voting stations were still closed at 11am but the number dropped to five by 5pm.

Service delivery protests were also reported in some parts of the country which delayed voting, but Mamabolo said police managed to calm the situation.

The polls were generally peaceful, there were no reports of violent incidents like in 2014 and 2016 where a few stations were burned down.

This is a sign that our democracy has matured and we are tolerant of different political views.

The IEC described the elections as successful and said it "remains highly satisfied and encouraged with voting progress throughout the day and throughout the country".

Even President Cyril Ramaphosa had a moment of nostalgia as he said the elections reminded him of the 1994 elections.

He voted at midday at Hitekani Primary School in Chiawelo, Soweto - the neighbourhood where he grew up.

"This is a vote that reminds us of 1994, because in 1994 our people were just as excited as this, because they were heralding a new period, a new future for our country. And today this is what I am picking up.

Our people are really excited at what lies tomorrow," Ramaphosa was quoted saying after casting his ballot, with his wife, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, by his side.

Now, we wait for the results with bated breath as the IEC begun counting the votes last night.

Well done, South Africans, be proud of yourselves.

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