Johannesburg - Walking out of the polling booth at the Women for Peace centre in Alexandra, Johannesburg, one would have thought she had just conquered the world.
However, upon further investigation her walk was more a frustrated dash, while the reason she gave a poster depicting DA leader Helen Zille a kiss had a different meaning as well.
“I stood in that line for nearly two hours, now they tell me I have to go vote in Phalaborwa,” said Tandiwe Mbele.
Mbele, a middle-aged mother with two children at her side, could not have her say.
But she still insisted having her picture taken with a poster of Zille propped up near a blue gazebo manned by two DA supporters outside the station. She picked it up and clutched it under her arm.
“Helen I will vote for you next time, promise.” She gave the poster another kiss before saying her goodbyes to the DA couple sittting in the shade of the gazebo.
Pinch of patience
For Mbele it was annoying to get so close without making her mark, but for the greater majority, a pinch of patience and some time in the sun was well worth it at the end.
There were of course also some exceptions.
“Mlungu (white man), come over here. Are you a journalist?,” asked 58-year-old Solomon Mhlangu.
“I am so happy to vote, but these lines are too long,” he continued once he saw his comment was being written down.
“I’ve been here since eight and I’m still in the line. It is hot and I’m thirsty so get out that pen and start writing.” It was 11:45.
As was the case with what appeared to be an ecstatic DA supporter, Mhlangu’s reaction turned out to be just as deceptive.
A colleague who had also been on the prowl in case all hell broke loose happened to speak to the fellow upon arrival - about 45 minutes earlier.