The elections were the first in which citizens of all races were allowed to take part, and were therefore also the first held with universal adult suffrage. The election was conducted under the direction of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), and marked the end of the four-year process that ended apartheid. Millions queued in lines over a three-day voting period. Altogether 19 726 579 votes were counted and 193 081 were rejected as invalid. As widely expected, the ANC, whose slate incorporated the labour confederation COSATU and the South African Communist Party, won a sweeping victory, taking 62% of the vote, just short of the two-thirds majority required to unilaterally amend the Interim Constitution. As required by that document, the ANC formed a Government of National Unity with the National Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party, the two other parties that won more than 20 seats in the National Assembly. The new National Assembly's first act was to elect Nelson Mandela as President.
In 1888, Xhosa author William Gqoba died.
During his relatively short life, he worked as a wagonmaker, clerk, teacher, translator of Xhosa and English, and a pastor. Gqoba was born in Gaba, near Alice, Eastern Cape. His father was Gqoba of the Cirha clan, and his grandfather, Peyi, had been a disciple and close associate of Ntsikana, who had played a key role in Xhosa literature, as well as in the Xhosa's conversion to Christianity. Gqoba attended the Mission School at Tyhume, followed by the Lovedale Institute. In May 1856 he was indentured as a wagonmaker, working in Lovedale, then in King William's Town for a year, and finally at Brownlee Station. In 1858 he was installed as an elder in Tiyo Soga's mission church at Mgwali. From 1884 until his death in 1888 he was the editor of The Xhosa Messenger, in which he also published his own articles on the history of the Xhosa people.