Heavy police presence as voting gets underway in Vuwani

By Drum Digital
03 August 2016

IEC officials have offloaded voting materials near a local Vuwani police station in Limpopo.

IEC officials have offloaded voting materials near a local Vuwani police station in Limpopo.

As early as 05:24, IEC officials were moving materials, sealed with courier company stickers, from one car to the other.

Nyalas, police vans and a scores of heavily armed officers could be seen at the key voting station in Vuwani, as police vowed to contain any violence in the troubled area.

IEC provincial chair Nakaro Mateta said they were ready to deliver a successful election, adding that the two days of special voting had gone well, with few challenges.

"In other areas, a voter voted using a copy of an ID, and that presiding officer was fired on the spot," Mateta said.

Vuwani residents had vowed not to vote, saying the government did not consult them when incorporating their villages into a new municipality.

They said they didn’t want to vote under a new municipal entity and wanted to remain under the Makhado municipality.

Some of the challenges were voting stations not opening on time, inaccessibility of voting station keys, and the barricading of roads in communities like Mogalakwena in the Waterberg District.

"However, the SAPS has managed to stabilise the situation and voters were able to go cast their votes, presiding officers not using double envelope system for voters," said Mateta

The focus for special votes was on home visits for those who were unable to go to the stations and station visits for those who were unable to make it to the stations on election day.

Mateta said, due to a low number of special vote application received in Vuwani, the IEC had decided that all special votes in the area would take place on Wednesday.

Source: News24

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