Lion ‘intimidates’ prospective voters

2011-03-08 09:07

Prospective voters in the Vhembe region in Limpopo were “intimidated” – by a lion – when they tried to register over the weekend.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) provincial electoral chief, Nkaro Matete, said at a media conference in Polokwane yesterday that the lion had apparently escaped from the Makuye park near Mutale.

The animal apparently prevented local residents from registering for the local government election in May.

“There was a reported case of intimidation in Mutale where a lion scared off several voters from voting stations,” said Matete.

She said police and game rangers looked for the lion on Saturday but couldn’t find the animal.

Registration vexation
The lion wasn’t the only problem faced by the IEC in the province over the voter registration weekend, she said, adding that they were worried about people being bused into five registration stations in the Mogalakwena and Ba-Phalaborwa municipal areas.

Matete also said three registration stations in the province didn’t open due to opposition by traditional leaders who wouldn’t allow the buildings to be unlocked.

In the Blouberg municipal area, the registration station in the Selaelo Primary School was also closed due to protests about border demarcations.
IEC officials were also apparently intimidated.

More than 204 000 people visited 2 783 registration stations in the province over the weekend.

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