‘With this vote, I’m pleading for water’

2014-05-07 12:13

Mahlomula Titipani does not know why he continues voting because there is no water in his village of Kwasekana in Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape.

The 81-year-old said his vote was based on the hope that things might change this time around.

“Honestly, I don’t know why I continue to vote because nothing changes. I have voted since 1994 in every election hoping for change, but nothing. We don’t have water, something so basic. With this vote I am just pleading with government to please give us water,” he said.

He said he had walked about 1km to get to the Ntsekane voting station to cast his vote.

“It’s very important for me to vote even as I have lost hope, but I can’t sit at home and not vote.”

This morning, all seemed to be going smoothly in Sterkspruit, where some residents had threatened to boycott the polls.

But some voters still seemed anxious to visit voting stations for fear of intimidation.

Those who had gathered enough strength to go to the polling stations could be heard phoning their friends while standing in the queue.

“You can come, there is no problem here. There are police guarding the voting station,” one man was heard telling someone on the phone.

Another voter, Nothobile Dayeni, said even though she supported the call by the Sterkspruit Civic Association to have an independent municipality, she did not agree with the idea to boycott the elections.

“I came here to vote because it is my right. I do agree with the young people in demanding a Sterkspruit municipality but that does not mean I cannot vote. Voting is one’s individual right,” she said.

“If these police and soldiers were not here, I doubt I would have come to vote because we have been intimidated by young people to stay at home,” she said.

Annette Steyn, a DA MP who cast her vote at the Ntsekane voting station, said she was excited to have voted at her constituency.

She and party members have had their hands full visiting potential voters urging them to go and vote.

“People are afraid to come out of their homes because of the call by the civic [association] to boycott the elections, but we have seen a number of people starting to vote, which is good,” she said.

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