As we draw nearer to the democratic elections, Briefly.co.za reflected on the historical event that happened on this month in history 25 years ago: Nearly 20 million people participated in South Africa’s first democratic elections.
The elections were the first in which citizens of all races were allowed to take part. The election was conducted under the direction of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), and marked the culmination of the four-year process that ended apartheid.
Millions queued in lines over a four-day voting period. Altogether 19,726,579 votes were counted and 193,081 were rejected as invalid.
The queues were so long that the voting time was extended until 7pm on 29 April in Venda, Gazankulu, Lebowa, KwaZulu-Natal, Transkei and Ciskei.
The African National Congress (ANC) under the leadership of the late Nelson Mandela won an overwhelming victory with 12,237,655 votes (62.9%),
The National Party (NP) under the leadership of FW de Klerk won 983 690 (22%) of the national votes, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) under the leadership of Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi won 2 058 294 (10%) of the national votes. International observers declared the voting to have been free and fair.
The ANC formed a Government of National Unity with the National Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party, the two other parties that won more than 20 seats in the National Assembly. The new Assembly's first act was to elect Nelson Mandela as President.
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