Somewhere along the line (the physical, rainbow line of voters; the process line, of showing ID, getting your name crossed off the list, placing your mark, dropping off the papers in the ballot box) I always tear up, when it comes to casting my vote.

As a white South African of a certain age and generation, it is impossible not to feel, again, the emotion welling up, and a sense of pride and optimism, as you stand in the line of maids and madams, petrol pump attendants and shopkeepers and businessmen, enjoying the sunshine (the warm, real sun, the mythical African sun, the sun that fuels our little universe of hopes and frailties), appreciating the easy chatter and banter, the patient good humour of one’s fellow South Africans.

Gone, for a day, is the snarling and bickering of the politicians, the posturing and the pretense, the bluster and the base appeals.

The sun is out. The autumn air is warm and welcoming.

This day belongs to us citizens.