Rocky start at some voting stations

By admin
07 May 2014

Voting in Springs and parts of Cape Town was delayed this morning.

Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) officials in Evergreen Informal Settlement in Springs, outside Johannesburg, were still waiting for ballot papers by 9am on Wednesday.

About 50 people, mainly elderly men and women, stood outside in the misty weather to vote in the country's fifth post-apartheid elections.

A stone's throw from the voting station a group of about 50 young people stood on the corner shouting at people going to the voting stations to not vote. "We've been standing here for a long time. Voting was supposed to start at 7am. It's already 9am and nobody has voted yet," said Nombulelo Mayekiso. One of the youngsters on the corner, giving only his first name Sipho said: "We are not voting. Those who vote, we are going to find them at night."

'It's already 9am and nobody has voted yet'

There was a strong police presence with five Nyala police vehicles driving around and a police helicopter circling overhead.

The settlement is close to Gugulethu on the East Rand which was the scene of public violence on Monday night after protesters torched a Transnet building.

Forty-six people have been arrested for public violence after residents of the informal settlement blocked streets with burning tyres and rocks.

Several vehicles were reported to have been stoned, but no injuries reported.

The reason for the protests was not immediately clear, police said.

Meanwhile, delays in the opening of polling stations in the Rondebosch area have all been dealt with, IEC spokesman Trevor Davids said.

"We were aware of the problems but all those issues have been resolved," Davids said.

"There were issues to do wtih materials and, if they are not there at the time, the station cannot be declared open.

"There were hiccups earlier but all the stations in that ward are now operational."

Earlier, Peter Fisher, local chair of the Democratic Alliance for Ward 59, which includes Rondebosch and Claremont, said there were many delays in the district.

"Of the eight voting stations in the district, there are problems with six."

There had been a 40-minute delay at St Paul's Church in Rondebosch, Cape Town, where DA leader Helen Zille was set to vote.

Fisher said he was also aware of a problem in the Steenberg area.

- Sapa

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