Phillip van Niekerk in Washington DC

Donald Trump was melting down on television declaring victory and claiming that the election was being stolen.

News anchor Anderson Cooper said he looked like a fat tortoise “flailing in the hot sun”.

Trump’s supporters were praying for God to come help Trump win.

His ally Steve Bannon was calling for the beheading of the country’s top health expert Dr Tony Fauci.

Counting was continuing in four close states that the challenger Joe Biden was winning.

The poll counters were keeping their heads down as Trump’s mobs barked at them to “stop the count”.

Hundreds of lawyers were filing losing lawsuits all over the country to challenge the results.

The sound and fury will continue for weeks.

But away from the spotlight America is already preparing for the hand-over.

The military has established a national defence airspace over Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington Delaware – something that is only done for a president.

As is the dispatch of extra secret service agents to his house.

Many people were in no doubt about the outcome. They took to dancing with joy in the streets of America.

The only question is what will happen in the next two and a half months before Biden officially becomes the nation’s 46th president.

When will the White House start burning documents?

Will the secret service have to drag the leader of the free world out, kicking and screaming, from the presidential residence?

Will they find him hiding under his bed?

How soon after the hand-over will Trump be in handcuffs for tax fraud, corruption and other crimes that he may have committed?

One thing was clear: four years of national nightmare were coming to an end.

There are millions of people who will have their first good night’s sleep in four years.

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