Nkandla – Nkandla residents on Saturday sang the praises of their neighbour, President Jacob Zuma, saying they would "remain loyal to him no matter what".
Hundreds of people registered to vote in the local government elections, alongside Zuma, at Ntolweni Primary School in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday morning.
The president arrived with his wife Tobeka Madiba Zuma and their 8-year-old daughter, Nqobile. He left shortly after checking his name on the voters' roll.
A large ANC stand was already set up when News24 arrived on Saturday morning. ANC supporters wearing T-shirts emblazoned with Zuma's face sang and danced as they campaigned for the party.
"We are part of the Msholozi branch and we are encouraging all the residents to come out and register to vote for Msholozi," said a Musa Dladla region executive committee member, Sibongiseni Bhengu.
"We are expecting more than 2 000 people to come out and register so that we can take over [from] the Inkatha Freedom Party." The IFP won Nkandla in the 2011 local government elections.
Edward Zuma registers
Zuma's son Edward was also at the registration station. "This is an opportunity for all South Africans to exercise their democratic right to choose who should lead the country," Edward said.
He added that he woke up early to register and already knew who he would vote for. "Obviously, the ANC," he said.
Gogo Khulekile Shezi, 75, said she came from Ntolwane to register. "I know who I am going to vote for, it's President Jacob Zuma. We will remain loyal to him no matter what."
Using a thin walking stick to support her weight, Shezi said she relied on Zuma for assistance in the community. "I'm going to divorce him if he does not respond to my problems," the elderly woman threatened.
News24 also spotted EFF house recipient, S'thandiwe Hlongwane, 33, in the queue. The woman recently defected from the EFF back to the ANC after she had been built a house by the EFF. She said she too was going to vote for Zuma.
First time voter Mbali Khanyile said she was excited to vote. "It's important to register to vote for people who will make a difference in your life," she said.