The African Union said the South African national and provincial elections were free and fair.
“The mission’s preliminary conclusion is that the 2014 national and provincial elections of South Africa were held in a conducive environment which allowed the electorate to effectively participate in the electoral process and to exercise their right to vote,” said the AU Election Observer Mission on Friday morning.
The mission said it “has come to the preliminary conclusion” that the national and provincial elections were “free, fair, transparent and credible”.
It also called the elections peaceful and reflecting the wishes of South Africans.
“As the electoral process is yet to be concluded, the mission would like to call on all stakeholders to continue to uphold peace and harmony across the country and await the final announcement of results by the IEC,” it said.
The AU will release its final report on the elections in two months.
The African National Congress (ANC) is set to get over 60% of the vote with the Democratic Alliance (DA) in a much improved second place since the last election in 2009. The DA has enjoyed a 6% swing to garner 22% of the vote while newcomers, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by firebrand Julius Malema are in third with over 6% of the vote. The vote ensures the former ANC youth leader a seat in parliament.
Final results will be announced Saturday according to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
“With 97.96 percent of results captured, we are confident of being able to announce the official results tomorrow,” IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula told reporters at the national results centre on Friday.
“As we speak we are in the process of finalising the capture of the results in the last few remaining voting districts.”
The final results were expected to be announced at 6pm at the results centre on Saturday.
Just before lunch time on Friday, the IEC had finalised capturing results in four provinces — Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo, and the Northern Cape, Tlakula said.