Additional reporting by AFP.
South Africans went to the polls Wednesday in an election marking 25 years since the end of apartheid rule in 1994.
With 50% of the votes counted, here’s how the results were
shaping up nationally. Note, though, that these results are only meant to
provide an overview and results will not become official until declared so by
South Africa elections 2019: National leader board
With 50% of the votes counted.
Here are some reactions from prominent personalities and
ordinary voters to the election, in which some 26.8 million people are eligible
to cast ballots.
“The confidence that is just emitted by our people is
amazing,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa shortly after voting.
“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.
“There’s a great vibe and its vibe for democracy, it’s
a vote also for our democratic system that we have been building over the past
F.W. De Klerk, South Africa’s last apartheid-era president
who shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela for their efforts to end
white rule, said “everything is not dark in South Africa”.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel, if the ANC
wins and President Ramaphosa keeps his promises things will get better,”
he said as he voted in Cape Town.
Former president Jacob Zuma, forced to resign last year over
corruption scandals, was certain his party would retain power.
“I’m confident that things will go the way everybody
expect them to go. Big parties will be in front, small ones will follow as it
has been always, it’s a question of what is the distance between (them),”
Zuma said after voting in his rural Nkandla village.
The firebrand leftist leader of the Economic Freedom
Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, whose young party is forecast to make major
gains, said that if “South Africans want the EFF to lead, they must give
it a decisive majority”.
“Coalitions force us to choose between devils. You are
caught between a rock and a hard place.”
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane voted in Soweto,
the crucible of the anti-apartheid struggle.
“Soweto to me represents in many ways the home of where
the struggle is and now we are entering a new struggle for jobs for many South
Africans … it’s a historic moment when we transition again”.
Bus driver Rendani Jonas in Soweto was confident his party
would win and “Malema is going to be president of this country”.
Self-employed painter Victor Mhlongo, 42, acknowledged the
ANC’s failures, but remained loyal.
“As a country we are more like a family… I believe in
every family there are days of hiccups or misunderstanding, but as a family we
reconcile, we correct our mistakes and move forward,” he said.
“We want to be set free from this poverty,” said Moxolo
Gqetywa, 48, an unemployed mother of two girls waiting to vote in Soweto.