CAPE TOWN, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) observer mission said on Friday that South Africa has set a good example for other African countries by holding free and fair elections.
There are lessons to be learnt by other African countries, said John Kufuor, head of the observer mission.
"South Africa has set bar so high and my advice to other countries would be to try and emulate South Africa," Kufuor said in remarks distributed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
Other African countries "should respect their own constitutions and accountability to the electorate and I believe this will make Africa progress peacefully," said Kufuor, a former Ghanian president.
The AU election observer mission's deputy head Ibrahima Sall also commended South Africa for holding the successful and peaceful elections.
"The national and provincial elections were free, fair, transparent and credible. The elections were also peaceful and reflect the wishes and aspirations of South Africans," Sall said.
Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said 97. 96 percent of election results had been captured by Friday afternoon.
The voter turnout so far was at 73.26 percent.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) is leading nationally with 62.21 percent of the votes, while the opposition Democratic Alliance is in second place with 22.16 percent of the votes.
Final results will be announced on Saturday, the IEC said.
South Africans voted on Wednesday to elect the new National Assembly and provincial legislatures.
The IEC said 25.3 million people had been registered to vote, representing 80.5 percent of the 31.4 million South Africans eligible to vote. The country has a population of 52 million.
In South Africa's 2009 elections, 7 million people eligible to vote did not register, while about 5.4 million did register but did not vote.