Johannesburg – Co-operative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen has condemned the violence reported at some voter registration stations over the weekend.
“We cannot allow voting stations to be closed as a result of violence and intimidation,” said the minister in a statement issued on Sunday. “Too many people have paid the ultimate price so that all South Africans have the right to vote.”
On Saturday there were reports of violence and intimidation at Vuwani in the Vhembe District Municipality in Limpopo as well as in Paarl and Wellington in the Western Cape.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said protests also took place in Ntabankulu and Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and four voting stations in KwaZulu-Natal in Ladysmith, Mfolozi and Escourt.
“By denying people the right to register, you are effectively denying them that right enshrined in our Constitution – that is the right to vote…
“I urge all leaders to bring an end to the violence,” said Van Rooyen.
This weekend the electoral commission held its final voter registration drive, ahead of the local government elections scheduled for August 3.
However, on Sunday, nine voting stations – all in the Vhembe area in Limpopo – had not opened by 11am. By Sunday afternoon, three of these had been opened.
The electoral commission on Sunday said the remaining 22 608 voting stations had opened and were running smoothly.