Voter 'explosion' at Free State stations

2011-05-18 17:08
Bloemfontein - There was an "explosion" of voters at polling stations in the Free State, provincial IEC head Chris Mepha said on Wednesday.

Speaking to journalists at the provincial Independent Electoral Commission head office, Mepha said 98% of Free State voting stations opened on time at 07:00 on Wednesday.

"There was a heavy flood of voters to all voting stations in all municipalities."

Mepha said at Bergman Square, near Bloemfontein, there was an "explosion" of voters and long queues.

Where voting stations did not open on time it was because of missing Voters' Rolls and an absence of security stamps.

In the Matjhabeng Municipality (Welkom), in Hani Park, a voting station opened at 09:20 after a security stamp went missing for a while.

In the Moqhaka Municipality (Kroonstad) another voting station opened at 11:20 after the Voters' Roll was lost.

Mepha said a new Voter's Toll was e-mailed to the municipality so voting could continue.

Mepha said more than 1.3 million registered voters were expected to start voting in the afternoon.

Other incidents reported in the Free State included an assault in Vredefort where a fight broke out between African National Congress and Congress of the People representatives.

Mepha said both groups had laid charges.

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