On April 27, 1994, Jim and Jane Benson traveled from polling station to polling station in South Africa. Appointed international observers, they were there to help ensure the first free elections in the country were held in a fair and safe manner.
“It was an unbelievable and amazing experience,” Jane Benson said. “People were lined up all over the place, whites and blacks standing in line together. Before then, it would have never happened, blacks and whites standing next to each other in the same time.”
The Bensons witnessed apartheid crumble, as South Africa moved from whites-only rule to a “rainbow nation” under Nelson Mandela. And as South Africa and the world mourns Mandela’s death, the Bensons reflected on their time being in a country in transition.