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Well done,South Africa

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Millions of South Africans heeded the clarion call to go and cast their votes and make their voices heard in shaping the future of this country

Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

THE sixth national and provincial elections happened without any major incidents yesterday.

Millions of South Africans heeded the clarion call to go and cast their votes and make their voices heard in shaping the future of this country.

That there were no major incidents is indicative of the maturity of the South African democratic system.

By late yesterday, just before the closing of voting stations, the Electoral Commission of SA said the elections were running smoothly and steadily throughout the country.

Although the results of the polls will only be officially released on ­Saturday, we should be proud as a nation that our election day was not a day of conflict, but rather an opportunity for many of us to exercise this crucial right to elect those who are going to run our public institutions.

Amid isolated incidents of protests and gloomy weather in certain parts of the country, South Africans made their votes count.

Many countries on the continent – and many parts of the world – struggle with elections.

The African continent continues to be afflicted by the phenomenon of presidents who want to die in office.

They go to the extent of changing constitutions so that they avoid elections and remain in office without the people’s will.

Many people on our continent and elsewhere in the world engage in deadly fights just to gain the right to choose their leaders.

We should count ourselves lucky that there is no blood that is shed for us to cast our votes. We are, indeed, lucky that we have not been engulfed by post-election violence since our first democratic election in 1994.

The IEC should be commended for running our elections professionally. It is their great work that gives the outcomes of our elections credibility and makes them not easily challengeable.

We must pat ourselves on the back for how all of us have participated in these elections – from the citizens and political parties to the IEC.

It does feel good to be in South Africa during elections.