The IEC national Results Operations Centre in Tshwane was a hive of activity as results from the 2019 general elections continued to pour in. Picture: African News Agency

Johannesburg - The Nelson Mandela Foundation has called on South Africans to welcome the results of the general elections as free and fair when declared by the Electoral Commission of SA.

The foundation, together with the National Foundations Dialogue Initiative (NFDI), was among organisations that observed the fiercely contested elections, which have seen 35 political parties rejecting the results as being manipulated.

Speaking at the IEC’s national operations centre (ROC) in Pretoria, NMF chief executive Sello Hatang said despite the reported glitches, the elections had been conducted with integrity and fairness.

“Today, as our sixth general elections come to a close, we can confidently say that democracy is sticking in South Africa. The processes can be noisy and messy but the centre is holding. In our view, these elections represent the view of the people,” Hatang said.

By exactly 3pm on Friday afternoon, the ANC was leading with 57.34% in the national vote, while the DA and the EFF trailed behind with 21.05% and 10.32% respectively – with 89.9% of vote counting completed.

The 35 of the 48 political parties that contested the election, including COPE, have called for the auditing of the results.

The parties attributed their dismal performance to reported irregularities, including double voting in voting stations.

Political Bureau