(Genevieve Quintal, News24)
Johannesburg – The busy streets of Soweto were permeated with a feeling of soccer fever as the euphoria of the much anticipated derby overshadowed voter registration weekend on Saturday.
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Soccer lovers were dressed in gold and black or red and white symbolising their support for South Africa’s two iconic football rivals, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. The two giant teams were facing each other for the second time this year.
Every now and again a handful of people wearing their political party T-shirts walked down the streets.
The voter registration station at the Ebenezer Church was noticeable by its deafening silence, an indicator that Soweto had chosen soccer over registration on Saturday.
In Dobsonville, every now and again one or two people walked into the stations to register their names for the upcoming elections.
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Even ANC Youth League president, Collen Maine, could not compete with football's grand event. As he walked down the streets of Dobsonville, dressed in ANC regalia with his personal umbrella holder and his entourage, it was painfully clear his presence had no effect on the people.
The youth league president eventually conceded to the power of football mania when he joined a group of his friends at a local pub.
Maine said he had made great strides with the youth in Soweto. He said he had met several young people who had promised to vote for the ANC. “Overall it was a good day. We met young people who want to vote and are encouraged to vote for the ANC,” he told News24.
One local man, Masibulele Dube, told News24 he had only one thing in mind, “I want us to win today,” he said.
Dube said he would register later on Sunday when he stopped celebrating what he predicted would be a slam dunk win over Kaizer Chiefs.
“I want to vote, but I want to win this game first,” he said.
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