Apartheid Museum

1994 Election

On 27 April 1994 voters stood for hours in queues often stretching over a kilometre long to vote in South Africa's first democratic election.

Hopes ran high and fears ran deep in the run-up to the election. For Africans, this was their first chance to vote in a national election, and the majority were determined to cast their vote. A sense of euphoria gripped voters from all races, especially those opposed to apartheid. The election, which took place over a few days, was largely peaceful. The ANC won 63% of the vote, the National Party 20% and the IFP 11%.

Quick Facts

  • The first ever democratic elections in which all South Africans could vote were held on 27 April 1994.
  • Around 20 million South Africans queued over a four-day voting period, with a 86.9% voter turnout.
  • Nelson Mandela voted for the first time in Inanda in KwaZulu-Natal, near the grave of John Dube, the founding president of the ANC.
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