The photographer of historic 1994 election picture shares memories of the day

History was made when the majority of South Africans took to the polls in the country’s first-ever democratic elections on 27 April 1994.

Most people said it was a wonderful day, the day they will never forget. Denis Farrell, Associated Press photographer, took the most circulated picture in South Africa’s media, of a snaking queue at one of the polling stations in Soweto.

Speaking to CapeTalk’s Kieno Kammies, Farrel shared his memories of the day as he was taking that legendary picture.

My brief was to accompany a visiting photographer to take pictures of FW de Klerk casting his votes and I have organised with Alan Matthews to go with him on a helicopter two weeks prior the voting day

Denis Farrell, Associated Press photographer

Listen to the full conversation below:

When we were waiting for FW to cast his vote, we got the news of explosions at the airport

Denis Farrell, Associated Press photographer

I eventually got to Rand airport and got ready to get into the helicopter. We had to fly above a certain height because they were concerned about somebody shooting at the helicopter

Denis Farrell, Associated Press photographer

We went over Soweto and katlegong and it was an amazing scene with all those queues, I mean there were really long queues

Denis Farrell, Associated Press photographer

We thought the iconic photograph for the elections would be Nelson Mandela casting his vote

Denis Farrell, Associated Press photographer
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