Helen Zille votes with husband, son as Chinese media looks on

2014-05-07 10:53

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DA leader Helen Zille voted at Saint Paul’s Church in the Cape Town suburb of Rondebosch flanked by her husband, Johann Maree, and son, Paul Zille Maree.

Zille’s husband kept her place in the long queue while she thanked ululating supporters and addressed media gathered in the chilly breeze just after 8am.

She said today’s election was “very, very important, and make or break for South Africa’s democracy”. Zille said today was the culmination of nine weeks of hard work.

“We’ve been working for nine weeks, spreading the DA’s message of job creation around the corners of the country.

“We need to honour the past, but move forward,” she said.

The Western Cape premier visited the drug- and crime-ravaged communities of Mitchells Plain and Atlantis in a last bid to drum up support yesterday.

After voting in Cape Town today, she will take a chartered flight to Port Elizabeth – a significant constituency as she hopes to double votes there – before taking a commercial flight to OR Tambo airport for visits to Joburg and Pretoria.

It will be a long day for Zille, who was wearing high purple-and-gold strappy sandals.

Outside the church, she posed with voters as the queue edged forward. Meanwhile, her husband, an emeritus professor at the department of sociology at the University of Cape Town, dashed home to fetch his ID.

“Just living up to his name as a professor,” said Zille.

Maree returned with a thick book to read while waiting, appearing unperturbed at the scores of cameras and microphones aimed at his wife.

Media from as far afield as China chronicled her vote.

Eventually, because of time constraints, DA staff asked that Zille skip the last section of the queue before whisking her off to the airport.

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