South Africa headed to the polls for its sixth democratic election. Analysts have described it as the most pivotal elections since the country’s dawn of democracy after electorates headed to the polls in their numbers.
Counting has picked up pace as incumbent African National Congress (ANC) has taken the lead. Shortly before 6:30, the IEC reported that it had processed 17 % of all votes cast on Election Day.

While results are due to become even clearer by Thursday afternoon, our reporter in South Africa - Rashid Boahen has filed that the ruling ANC is celebrating a preliminary milestone with 1 171 934 votes, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 505,550 and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at 159,996; stating that "the incumbent is in the comfortable lead".

The ANC expresses its gratitude to millions of RSA who came out to cast their votes. In a Twitter post, it said: "the ANC is pleased that regardless of the inclement weather in some parts, our people braved the elements and came out to exercise their democratic right to vote".

A record number of voters registered, but the youth under 30 was notably absent from that list. While voting across the country went largely smoothly, there were a number of issues with protest action preventing polling stations from opening. There were also issues with polling stations running out of ballot papers.

Source: Eric Nana Prekoh/