Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s reformist president of the ruling African National Congress has won the country's election.
The AU on Friday acknowledged the South African general elections as “peaceful, transparent, inclusive and credible.”
The AU Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) said in a statement posted on the AU official website on Friday.
The elections were conducted “in a calm, peaceful and orderly manner” and afforded the people of South Africa the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights of choosing their leaders, the AUEOM said
The South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) prepared and conducted the elections “in a professional and transparent manner and in accordance with the relevant laws governing elections in South Africa,” the AUEOM said.
This came as a coalition of 35 smaller political parties said they were unhappy with the running of the elections which they said were marred by “double voting.”
They threatened to go to court and demanded an election rerun.
The parties called on the IEC to appoint an independent auditor, not affiliated with the government, to examine the results, which put the ruling African National Congress (ANC) well ahead of all other political parties.
Preliminary results showed that the ANC captured almost 58 per cent of the votes, leaving far behind the second biggest party – the Democratic Alliance which garnered more than 22 per cent of the votes.
In spite of concerns from some stakeholders about the competence of the IEC’s ad hoc staff at the local level, the AUEOM said the elections “proceeded generally well and within a conducive environment that ensured citizens exercised their right to vote.”
However, the mission said it had noted the existence of a few isolated incidents where voting was disrupted.
South Africans went to the polls on Wednesday to elect their representatives for the National and Provincial Legislative Assemblies.
The elections will also determine who will be the next president.
This was the sixth consecutive election held since the introduction of multiparty democracy in 1994.
The AUEOM observed that arrangements put in place to ensure adequate security for the elections worked well.
However, it should be noted that the electoral process is ongoing and there are still important stages to be concluded before an overall and conclusive assessment can be provided, the AUEOM said.
“South African democracy is young compared to other countries in Africa.
However, it is among the advanced democracies on the continent,” the mission concluded.
The IEC is set to announce final results on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the leader of Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s opposition party, on Friday promised to work with president of the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) for the good of the country.
Mmusi Maimane said this while addressing the media in Pretoria when he made the remarks.
Maimane said he would respect the will of the people, adding that whoever wins should deliver what the people want
“I will congratulate him (ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa). He ran a powerful campaign like we did. I want to say Ramaphosa you have to uphold the Constitution, do things that make our citizens be able to create wealth.
“You have to fight corruption and build a non-racial South Africa then you have my support. This is all about the future of this country,” said Maimane.
He warned that if Ramaphosa put his party ANC before the people, they will resist
Maimane said he is concerned that it was possible for some people to vote twice
He said they held some meetings and agreed that an audit be done to check what really transpired.