Joyful atmosphere at IEC centre

2011-05-19 20:43

Pretoria - Political party leaders were in a jolly mood at the IEC Results Centre in Pretoria on Thursday cracking jokes throughout the day despite some losing results.

Not putting in an appearance were ANC president Jacob Zuma and IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who were expected at the centre on Friday.

The atmosphere was joyful and peaceful as different party members and leaders put aside their political affiliations to chat and joke with one another.

A bubbly DA leader Helen Zille posed for as many cameras as she could, while Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota hugged and shook hands with almost every journalist he came across.

Despite a limp, he managed to move around. "I’m getting old my dear but I can do it," he said before carrying out interviews with reporters.

On the SABC’s reporting platform, Communications Minister Roy Padayachee walked briskly towards Lekota, accompanied by several people.

A smiling Lekota, who recognised his old ANC counterpart, shook his hand.

"I understand sorry is in order," Padayachee told a surprised Lekota.

After a few moments, Padayachee burst out laughing, saying it was a joke.

"I’m joking man. I meant congratulations is in order."

Lekota shared a few words with him, they hugged and moved on to converse with other people.

Pat on the back

Wearing a purple striped t-shirt and black trousers, Lekota gave himself a pat on the back for Cope’s escalating municipal figures.

"I think we have done very, very well. I give us a pat on the back." Matching Lekota’s outfit was Zille in her stunning bright purple coat.

"I got it from Miriam's in Cape Town for our final rally but decided I wanted to make an entrance here," she said jokingly.

"This is sentimental. They are from a friend," she said, touching her silver-beaded necklace.

To add to the outfit, was a funky pair of glasses with a white trimmed edge.

"If I can get this result from dancing, I will do it again for the next election," she said, almost bringing out a dance move.

Her reward for her months of "non-stop" campaigning would be a full night's sleep in her own bed.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, wearing a smart olive suit, said nothing could take away his happy mood of the day.

"The people can see that our policies to change their lives are taking root. They can see we are with them."

Smiling contently, he thanked IEC chairperson Brigalia Bam and chief electoral officer Pansy Tlukula for running a "brilliant, military operation which I understand is the best in the developing world."

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cope  |  iec  |  mosioua lekota  |  jeff radebe  |  helen zille  |  brigalia bam  |  elections
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