There was an obvious sigh of relief from the ANC which emerged as the winners, albeit with a reduced majority. There were some introspective frowns of concern from the DA for its mixed bag of results, and celebratory high fives by the EFF for its growth in several constituencies.
And from the IFP and Freedom Front Plus, smiles of satisfaction for their encouraging gains that confounded many.
All the other so-called fringe parties were, frankly, “also-rans” in this crowded national contest, with 34 of them losing their deposits for their dismal performances.
Some are crying foul, claiming the elections were not free and fair - a classic case of sour grapes, as some political analysts observed.
Now that the people have spoken, the time has come for some serious decision-making and action by leaders in the ruling party about the direction to be followed over the next five years, not just for the ANC but for the nation.
It was William Shakespeare who once said: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”, but South Africa can ill-afford such doubt and apprehension about its leader in the current political and financial climate.
Emboldened by his party’s election victory and his popular appeal across all communities, it is time for President Cyril Ramaphosa to dynamically lead the country to the “new dawn” he promised.
His list of priorities is long - and growing by the day. But perhaps his biggest task is being able to assemble a team around him that that he can trust - people who are honest and can be relied on to work with him in efforts to turn around the country.
Since taking office, Ramaphosa has taken bold steps to undo the harm caused by the previous leadership, especially in the fight against corruption, but has been hamstrung by divisive elements in his top six.
This is perhaps his best opportunity to surround himself with leaders who are competent, trustworthy and capable of delivering what the people want.
If it means a showdown to get rid of detractors, backstabbers, crooks and liars, so be it.
Now that the elections are over, most South Africans are looking for bold and courageous leadership to build the economy; reduce unemployment; fight the curse of crime and improve the quality of life for all citizens.
Ramaphosa is ideally positioned to champion a new course for South Africa.