Over 93 percent of votes had been counted in the fifth democratic election by the early hours of Friday morning.
At 3.25am, 20 806 of the 22 263 voting districts had been counted, making up 93.46 percent of the count.
The African National Congress had 62.65 percent of the votes after reaching 10,331,313 votes, while the Democratic Alliance had 21.90 percent with 3,542,293 votes.
A total of 16,174,883 valid votes had been counted, with 225,958 spoilt votes.
The early results indicated that Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters party was in third place with 956,253 (5.91 percent) of the votes, with the Inkatha Freedom Party securing 404,222 votes.
The National Freedom Party had 268,187 votes, the United Democratic Movement 170,680, Freedom Front Plus 147,498 and Congress of the People 111,224 votes.
The African Christian Democratic Party had 89,568 votes, the African Independent Congress 87,678, Agang SA 42,145 and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania 32,468.
The registered population was 22,445,655 on the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s website. - Sapa