Angry woman kisses vote goodbye

2011-05-18 19:03

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.

  • JewelZA - 2011-05-18 19:28

    I queued 4 times today (abandoned each time due to time constraints) and was surprised each time to see so many people being told they had to vote elsewhere. Clearly more voter education is required - or the system needs to be changed

      Grazy - 2011-05-18 22:25

      Jewel, that phenomenon is becoming very suspicious about having to vote elswhere. Some people I know was registered twice in different places, and in some places there was a possible "grouping of surnames", but it is still just a suspision. People living in the same house were registered in different areas, and suspicios things like that. There are people checking in to it privately.

      gksa - 2011-05-18 23:01

      I had to convince the registration officer that I actually needed to register in a new ward after the ward borders shifted. I had to help her read the map. I'm sure there are tons of people who didn't re-register, still went to their old voting stations, and voted there. There's no automatic removal from the voters roll if your residence is suddenly outside the ward borders. Leads to a lot of confusion...

  • BlendedFrog - 2011-05-18 19:32

    Bugger me! Did the ANC learn about gerrymandering already?

      Unathi - 2011-05-18 19:52

      This fool will get a food parcel

      gksa - 2011-05-18 22:53

      Have you SEEN Tshwane's new borders?

  • United Shark - 2011-05-18 19:57

    This is such a sad story! They should have let that lady vote. Shame, 2 hours in the queue and no vote. At least she had good intentions and I hope that she can vote next time.

      narike.lintvelt - 2011-05-19 09:51

      For obvious reasons one can only vote at the venue where you are registered.

  • dask@k - 2011-05-18 20:52

    sticks and stones may break my bones but words..............f@#k them

  • Rob - 2011-05-18 22:05

    @doublepost...It is very sad to see that even you as an "educated white man" who probably had the advantage of a Model C school cannot see the difference in the three spellings. One is mvlungu, the other is mlungu, and the last one is mzungu, all three completely different. But then there are none so blind as them that cant see!!a$$hole

  • Grazy - 2011-05-18 22:18

    Be carefull about hanging meanings to a word. The word "mvlungu" is spelled different and have a different meaning as pointed out. The meaning of a word in Zulu can even change just by putting the (Afrikaans)"klem" on a different part. I do see mlungu as a complement, and I'm a rasist and a white supremasist. Always be fair and don't be nasty if you are unsure. Now, when a black say goodbye to me and he use the word "Samayahanthle", I'm pissed off emediately, because "Samaya" means "voetsek". The real way is to use "Hambagathle", if you are the one to leave, or Thlalahantle when you stay is the right way. Hamba means "to go", or you go, and Thlala means to stay, or lie down. If you say bye to more than one it become Hamba-nie-gathle, or Thlala-nie-gathle. I hope I'm correct and I know my spelling is probably way off. To say hallo is "sawabona", or "sawbona" were "bona" means see, as in I see you. If you greet more than one it will be sambona-nie. Just watch out for that voertsek. I'd appreciate it if a black guy or woman can correct me if I'm wrong here.

      Grazy - 2011-05-18 22:28

      This comment was meant under Doublepost above, sorry.

      Stevehofmeye - 2011-05-19 00:56

      In your long winded linguistic thesis, which you've posted with a hint of expert opinion, not only are you way off, but you've mixed two languages. There's no "Voetsek" equivalent in Tswana/Sotho. So don't be pissed off emediately!

      Roman Moroni - 2011-05-19 01:47

      Hi Grazy - remember there are a few different langauges being spoken by the black population in SA. Zulu differs a hell of a lot from Sesotho/Sestwana - you cannot apply the same rules to every language. I remember when I was at school we moved between Pretoria, Mafikeng and Bloemfontein in a period of 13 months and everytime I had to learn the regional language - got confused like hell and those three languages are quite similar.

      Blackup - 2011-05-19 08:54

      @ Mr Rasist-White Supremasist: Lets rather start by learning linguistic before trying make an argument in what isnt known to us. To start off may be you should have written your comment in Afrikaans. You English needs a lil polishing. Coming to Sesotho...its spelt "Tsamaea hantle". "Tsamaea" meaning "go to", and "Hamba" as you mentioned. "Hantle" would translate into "well". When someone says to you "Tsamaea hantle" they mean "go well". It doesnt take much to learn these. Hopefully you will not get pissed off emediately the next time someone tells you to go well.

      Trevor Farley - 2011-05-19 08:57

      Spelling "emediately" ???

      Chris - 2011-05-19 11:25

      Grazy; There is no such thing as SAMAYAHANTHLE, but TSAMAYAHANTLE which means GO WELL, whereby tsamaya means GO and hantle is WELL. This is southern sotho my friend and shows humility and friendliness. I will not comment on the zulu part of your trials because you are getting there!! Keep well.

  • Ace Love - 2011-05-18 22:32

    @ Doublepost.... stop being a chop!!!!! It's people like u that give us a bad name.... move on and don't let small things get to u....

      Doublepost - 2011-05-18 22:52

      Ok, seriously?! What is wrong with asking questions about meanings of words?! I have not called anyone names or said anything hurtful. I have stated what I thought was a derogatory word being used quite freely by a black person and nothing being mentioned. I might be wrong about its meaning or I might not, however, that isn't the real point here. In a REAL fair society we MUST be able to question things, even if they are difficult to argue either way. At least I have the dignity to try and debate the point without resorting to name calling. If I am given people like you a bad name, then maybe you need to have a good look at yourself and decide what it is you want. A fair and free society with priority on getting people to take care of themselves and families OR a society that controls its peoples thoughts by banning words, banning questioning history, much like you cannot question how many Jews were killed under Nazi Germany, and punishing those that do not fit into the designated mold that the Elites want. I do not consider that fair or free. The ONLY way people move on is to talk freely about how they think and feel. You can try and ignore the problems hoping they will go away but I cannot. If that makes me a CHOP!! Damn I must be tasty!

      Jenna - 2011-05-19 08:41

      Soga don't you mean a "whuss" or "whussy" ? (something between 'n whimp & a pussy)

      Jenna - 2011-05-19 08:48

      drop the h : should read wuss,

      Lauren - 2011-05-19 09:36

      Doublepost. Own your comment and stand by it. You know that you were being a little troll. Don't try and backtrack now and explain it all away by cloaking your comment in some blanket of a desire for better understanding. You're being rather passive agressive, if you ask me. If you say something shitty, you're just going to have to man up and face the hate. Get a little love in your heart while you're at it. Tit for tat is no society's friend. I mention that because you seem to bang on a bit about free and fair societies.

      andrew.pottow - 2011-05-19 10:31

      Okay. For all you guys jumping on Doublepost, you are wrong. Those of you who think its affectionate, you are wrong. Yes, I'm white but I speak fluent zulu and come from a family who has spoken fluent Zulu since the 1800's. I heard an old story which I thought was just that, until I researched the topic, and it was confirmed to me by a zulu scholar who had formally studied the origins of the language and more specifically, the word in question. Umlungu is a derivation of the "old" or "higher", if you will, Zulu word Ublungu. Ublungu is a word used to describe the white scum on the sea. A clearly racist and derogatory word from the beginning. All of you need to educate yourselves before you made assumptions regarding anything from another language and especially before you defend those assuptions!

      Doublepost - 2011-05-19 12:37

      @ Lauren What a nice little girl you are. I did exactly what you said and owned up to my comment ages ago! Can you not read?! Here, let me quote what I said. "I have stated what I thought was a derogatory word being used quite freely by a black person and nothing being mentioned." If I am mistaken, so be it. People make rude comments on this site all the time, doesn't necessarily make them trolls. I can at least back up my claims and add to discussion. You and others seem well intent on only name calling and trying to make themselves feel good by restating popular ideals and non-nonsensical unreasoned arguments. Do you feel good, little Lauren? Have you had your fun for the day?! You know, the matter that sticks out to me. I have never backed down from anything. After my first comment, which I now see is deleted, I have actually debated the point and not resorted to trolling. Can you not spot the difference?! Little Lauren? Reasoned arguments versus unsubstantiated drivel that comes out of yours and others mouths like you are constipated and the only other method of "taking a dump" is through your mouth?! I love having debates and arguments, it's what I live for. And I mean that in a good way. I stick up for my rights at every turn as I wish others would do that same. After all, a fair society can only exist if we do stand up for those rights. Therefore, in the interest of fairness, I stand up for you to type your bile on this forum as much as I can type mine.

  • louis - 2011-05-19 01:59

    Amusing article. A bit surrreal but amusing.

  • daaivark - 2011-05-19 07:12

    Doublepost. Go away. You're a blot.

  • Philip - 2011-05-19 08:08

    wow, this has blown way out of proportion!

  • Rover_ZA - 2011-05-19 08:24

    I don't take offence by it, I don't know about it anyone else. On comparing it to the 'k' word, I think you've missed a step @doublepost. The 'k' word did indeed originally have that meaning, however many words have more than one meaning and I think you're ignoring the glaringly obvious second meaning, the common meaning in South Africa, the word now has.

  • Monique - 2011-05-19 08:55

    My husband and I went to our nearest registered ICE post on 5 Feb 2011 to register to vote. We filled out our documents and handed it in. All we received was 'n peace of paper with a toll free number on, they told us that their system was off but we must just phone the number to confirm if we are registered. We contacted the IEC and they advised that they do not have documents of us and therefore we can not vote. Our constitutional rights as Citizens of South Africa have now been taken away due to the fact that the IEC is incompetent to handle the administration to vote. Is it really our constitutional right to vote as South Africans? The call centre agent Brian said I need to speak to an apparent Mr. Moepya who is not answering his phone at all. This is just another indication that this is clearly not a democratic election…

      Shistirrer - 2011-05-19 09:32

      You could just have gone to your local municipality, they could have fixed the registration for you.

      Mr D - 2011-05-19 09:55

      Plz go to the DA office and let them fix you up asap. You dont need to vote for them but they will see that your name is on the list for next time. D

  • Nicholas Smith - 2011-05-19 09:44

    i should have taken bets that this was going to be frequent occurance

  • narike.lintvelt - 2011-05-19 09:48

    How is this a news story?

  • Nomathemba - 2011-05-19 10:28

    I was so sad to hear that my mom was not approached for the special vote until the last date of the vote. My mom cannot walk, and there were people who were at the area attendig to the disabled people for special votes. I only heard that on the 18 May 2011 because I'm not staying with her. My mom is so worried also because she wanted to cast her vote maybe for the last time of her life as she is ageing. The area I'm talking about is Mdantsane Unit 8. How are the people working? It may happen that it is not only my mom who have experience this thing. Concerned daughter

  • Matt - 2011-05-19 10:51

    SA is a young democracy and still learning... but voting can be so much easier! UK: I voted there in 2001. No matter what time of day you go, it takes no longer than 5 minutes. No public holiday needed. The stations open till 10pm I think. They have LOADS of stations though. Remember, the UK has more people than SA... NL: No public holiday, no queue (I couldn't vote in NL, the "uitlander" policy that the ZAR had still applies up there, but I often went with a voter to see how it went). You press a button on a computer and that's your vote. Results come VERY quickly, but can we trust a computer... Maybe because in Europe they have more voting stations, within smaller municipalities? (in Europe, a Borough/Council covers a town and a few villages - not an entire area like here) Like: UK: I lived in Morley, small town / falls under the borough of South Leeds I think - yes, even the cities have separate "municipalities" NL: I lived in e.g. Veenendaal, a town - council covered only the town and a couple of tiny villages - same when I was in Culemborg, municipality only covered the town and a couple of outside villages SA: I live in Dawnview, suburb of Primrose, a suburb of Germiston, a city within the city of Ekurhuleni, which is part of Johannesburg... so, a suburb of a suburb of a city within a city, within a city... no wonder we have no service delivery!!!

  • Daleroy - 2011-05-20 11:22

    Angry Mitchells Plain: Myself and my family have lived in the same house and area for the last 10 years having moved from Strandfontien. My wife and myself have voted in two National Elections and one Local Election, this one would have been the fourth time we would have voted at the same voting district and ward. Each time we had to reregister to vote and each time we filled out forms so as to be able to vote, in Mitchells Plain. Each time without incedent or complaInt we both complied to the IEC officials, so as we can have our right to make our mark. On the 18th May my wife went early to our,what should have been our polling station after three registrations and 10 years she still wasn't allowed to vote and was told to go to Strandfontien. She was told that is where she is registered. After numerous phone calls,sms's and internet enquiries only to discover that i was also still registered to vote in Stranfontien. WHY WHY WHY!!!!. It is my opion that there is nothing wrong with voter education it is the system and the imcompitant peole the IEC EMPLOY AT THE POLLING STATIONS. Why should i travel elsewhere when my vote must matter in the area where i pay rates and taxes.

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