President Zuma casts his vote in Nkandla

By Drum Digital
07 May 2014

Zuma casts his vote in Nkandla

President Jacob Zuma cast his vote at the Ntolwane Primary School in Nkandla at 10.20am.

Escorted to the venue by a large convoy of police and security officials, in at least 12 vehicles, a relaxed Zuma, accompanied by Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and African National Congress officials, joined the queue behind other voters. His arrival was met with cheering and ululating.

Like any ordinary voter, he showed his ID and went into the booth, emerging to post his ballot in the ballot box, with a typical Zuma hand-gesture flourish.

A large contingent of press, including print and television, local and international, jostled for position to record the moment.

His wife Thobeka Madiba-Zuma had visited earlier to cast her vote. However, there was no sign of his first wife Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma who lives permanently at the Nkandla homestead.

Journalists had been warned beforehand that they could not ask any controversial questions. Officials had initially said the president would not take any questions, but on the day journalists were told they could “ask questions about voting”.

Speaking briefly as he was leaving the voting station, President Zuma called on all voters to “leave your houses and vote”. Of all our freedoms, the right to vote was the most important one, he said. He then conducted a television interview as other journalists jostled and pushed to hear what was being said.

He then left the voting station, and was met with IEC Chairperson Advocate Pansy Tlakula.

Obviously a son of Nkandla, and totally at home on his home ground, he then decided to take the short walk outside the station to the ANC campaign tent – the only party tent to be seen – where he briefly chatted to the occupants. He was followed by a largish, boisterous crowd. He was then picked up on the road by his convoy, and whisked away.

The school is behind the Nkandla satellite police station, and close to the president’s controversial home at kwaNxamalala. Although an evergreen topic during the election campaign, no word or R450m figure was mentioned on the day

-  Vivien Sandt

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