In photos: South Africa’s most unforgettable election moments
6 months ago
Before we head to the polls to vote, let’s look back at some of South Africa’s most iconic election moments, from 1994 through to 2014.
South Africa recently celebrated Freedom Day, the commemoration when all South Africans were allowed to head to the polls and vote in national elections for the first time.
On Wednesday 8 May, South Africans will make their way to the voting booths once again to have their say in who will run the country for the next five years.
The elections are a time to look to the future with hope that those we put our trust in actually deliver on their promises and act with integrity.
But it’s also an opportunity to look back at some iconic images that make up the voting history of our still young democratic country.
Whether it’s the lines of people stretching into the distance waiting with pride for their first chance to exercise their newly won freedom, or Nelson Mandela casting his vote as part of his decades-long fight for freedom, voting in South Africa more so possibly in any other country is an emotional experience.
Voting in South Africa for the longest time was a privilege afforded to a few and through the blood, sweat and tears of countless brave men and women. That privilege now falls upon all South Africans.
So forget about your party allegiances for a few minutes and enjoy some pictures of South Africa at its best. Remember that there is still a lot of work to be done. But we that we have already come a long way together.
It’s hard not to be moved when looking through the images of ordinary South Africans and politicians alike as we celebrate our freedom by participating in our democracy.
Hopefully, the pictures will act as a timely reminder too of the responsibility on our shoulders as we step into those voting booths and proudly make our mark.
South African elections 1994 – 2014
27 April 1994
South Africa’s first general elections was the dawn of a new era. The ANC secured 12 237 655 votes and earned 252 seats in the National Assembly.
Opposition parties included the National Party, the Inkatha Freedom Party, The Freedom Front, and Democratic Party and the Pan Africanist Congress.
2 June 1999
South Africa’s second general elections was held on 2 June 1999. The late Nelson Mandela declined to be re-elected as president. Instead, the ANC was lead by former President Thabo Mbeki.
The party retained its dominant position with 10 601 330 votes and earned 266 seats in the National Assembly. Opposition parties included the Democratic Party, United Democratic Movement, the Inkatha Freedom Party, and the New National Party.
The New National Party (formerly the National Party) suffered momentous losses during South Africa’s second election.
14 April 2004
The 2004 elections saw the ANC reach new heights. This election proved to be the party’s greatest electoral victory to date. Led by Thabo Mbeki, the ANC secured 10 880 915 votes and 279 seats in the National Assembly.
The NNP secured only 1.65% of the votes, down from 6.87% in the previous election. On 9 April 2005, the NNP’s Federal Council voted by 88 to 2 to disband.
22 April 2009
Mbeki’s resignation,along with antagonistic factional entities within the party, severely swayed the ANC from their victory course. Kgalema Motlanthe served as the interim president for eight months.
Opposition parties included the newly-formed Congress of the People (COPE), along with the Democratic Alliance, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the Independent Democrats and the United Democratic Movement.
Jacob Zuma was elected as president, and the ANC secured 11 650 748 votes with 279 seats on the National Assembly.
7 May 2014
Our last general elections saw the ANC losing support, primarily due to Zuma’s tenure. The Economic Freedom Fighters led by Julius Malema made their grand entrance. The Democratic Alliance secured the Western Cape.