Rooibos tea, biltong and hope fuel parties at results centre

2014-05-07 18:41

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ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has been fuelling himself with rooibos tea – no coffee or Red Bull – as elections day proceeded.

Mantashe filled up with a cup of rooibos with no milk or sugar at one of the coffee and tea stations in the Independent Electoral Commission’s national results operations centre in Pretoria before doing a radio interview.

Mantashe told City Press he was happy with the way the day had been proceeding, but the party was worried about low turnout in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

On the floor where large results screens have been put up, party agents and activists have assumed position at their tables from where they will be monitoring the results as they trickle in from tonight and for the next two days.

The Economic Freedom Fighters, with their bright red T-shirts, were the most noticeable.

On a table nearby, Cope party agents sat with yellow and red T-shirts, offering those around them biltong from a large bag.

“It will make us a lot of friends,” one of the party agents joked, but added they should make a cake in the form of a hat because party leader Mosiuoa Lekota promised to eat his hat if the party did better than the polls predicted.

Ipsos polls have predicted that Cope will get 2% this year, down from the 7% it got in 2009.

Three FF Plus officials were already staffing their table, but said they had no time to put on special party T-shirts.

They said they expected to gain some DA votes, especially among Afrikaans voters who were unhappy with the DA’s support for the re-opening of land claims.

At the ANC table, spokesperson Jackson Mthembu, who looked a bit tired but was still jovial, said the large voter turnout was good for democracy and a good showcase for the country.

About 250 complaints have been dealt with today already, IEC chair Pansy Tlakula said this evening.

Party agents and IEC officials have had regular meetings throughout the day at the results centre. At one of these meetings they clarified that the distribution of T-shirts on voting day was allowed, but not near the boundary of polling stations.

The first results are expected to start trickling in an hour or two after polling stations close at 9pm.

They usually come from Robben Island, which has 70 registered voters and who have previously voted in favour of the ANC.

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