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In Pictures: South Africa's freedom day
An elderly black voter casts his vote
Dispensation day

Despite the problems, the day before the election South Africa's old flag is lowered for the last time to be replaced by a new, multi-coloured flag representing the whole nation.

A preliminary round of voting on 26 April, restricted to those with 'special dispensation', sees old and disabled people shuffling to the polls to cast their vote. However observers note many impatient young and able-bodied voters queueing alongside.

President FW de Klerk: "I feel a sense of achievement"

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "I'm exhilarated... its like a dream"

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