Cape Town - 140507 - St Paul's Church in Rondebosch voting station. A larger than usual crowd was received at the voting station this morning. Pictured: The left thumb nail is marked before the vote is cast. PICTURE: WILLEM LAW(0722791676).

Pretoria - 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.

[email protected]

The Star