A familiar face at every election

2014-05-08 00:00

IN 1994, Nokuthula Magwanyana was an electoral officer at the Villa Maria Primary School voting station during the first democratic election.

She helped with checking IDs, checking the voters’ roll and inking. Magwanyana has worked in every election since then and now, 20 years later, she is the boss — the presiding officer for two voting stations. There is an air of efficiency about Magwanyana. The voters know her well and she is patient when called to answer one or other of their queries.

She says it is a job she loves and she is amazed at the effort older people make to come out to vote, saying it’s as if they are making up for all the years they were denied the vote.

Over the years, Magwanyana has gotten used to not sleeping on election day. “We’ll close the station at 9 pm and start counting votes at around 10 pm.

“This is a small voting station so we should finish counting by about 4 am and then the closed ballot boxes will be taken under guard to the IEC centre in Camperdown. I’ll sleep after that for the whole day,” she said.

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