‘Dead’ man tries to vote at Tlokwe

2011-05-19 08:57

There were mixed emotions as residents descended on voting stations around Tlokwe municipality yesterday to cast their ballots.

44-year-old Jan Schoeman got the shock of his life when he was told at Promosa Hall voting station by IEC officials that he was deleted from the population register.

Schoeman said he first registered for the 1999 elections at the same hall and it felt strange to now be told, after his identity document was scanned, that he does not exist.

“How is it possible that I am told I am dead?” an upset Schoeman said.

“Mandela fought for our right to vote and now that we have it, I am told I don’t exist.”

“I am totally written off. How do they say I am dead?” he asked.

“I need to vote. It’s a must as I feel I need to take part in electing people who will make decisions affecting me and my family,” Schoeman said.

He was rushed to the local home affairs office for assistance.

However, it was not all doom and gloom for other voters as first timers conquered the fear of the unknown to elect councillors to represent their communities in Tlokwe.

An excited Merlize Booysen (18) acknowledged the importance of voting, saying it helped make elected officials accountable.

“I believe that people who win should make a difference in people’s lives,” Booysen said.

“They should provide services to the poor, provide grants and ensure that no one is discriminated against.”

Christeline Sechel (18) said she kept her vote secret even from her parents and never disclosed who she was going to vote for.

“Voting today was a dream come true for me as I always imagined myself casting my vote,” Sechel said.

She said she hoped her elected councillor would make a difference in her community’s life.

25-year-old Jennet Cooper said she registered for the first time this year and was eager to vote.

“I was actually anxious about who to vote for, as a lot of people promised us a lot of things.”

“It’s surprising that they promise us things only during election time. Why do they do it only now?” Cooper asked.

She said if politicians were to be with them through-out the year, there would not be a necessity to campaign during election time as the community would automatically know who serves them best.

Other prospective voters were not as lucky as they were turned away for being at the wrong voting station after queueing for hours.

One such prospective voter is Rebecca Modimonyana (29) who was sent away at Ikageng Ward 19 as she was apparently registered at a different ward.

Some were not registered and the presiding officers had a tough time explaining to them that unless they were registered, there was no way they could be assisted.

Voting went smoothly in most parts of the municipality.

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