Special vote: I don’t need help, says Madiba as he casts his ballot

2011-05-17 00:00

“I’M okay. I’ll do it myself,” former president Nelson Mandela told Independent Electoral Commission officials helping him to cast his ballot yesterday morning.

IEC chairperson Dr Brigalia Bam and polling staff visited Mandela at his Houghton home yesterday so he could exercise a special vote. Afterwards Bam told journalists Mandela looks very well.

“Madiba formally applied for a special vote and had his ID book ready. There was even a table ready for us,” she said.

“Everyone was falling over themselves to help him, but he said: ‘No, no, I’m okay, I don’t need any help. I’ll do it myself’. He filled in the forms himself. We were all very surprised …” Bam said.

Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, and a grand-daughter were there, but everyone went into a sitting room to give him privacy to vote, Bam said. His doctor was also present and said Mandela has gained weight since he was treated in January for a respiratory infection.

Former president Thabo Mbeki also cast a special vote yesterday, visiting a polling station in Johannesburg, because he will be travelling to Sudan tomorrow.

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