Durban – President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, on Sunday threatened to hold Independent Electoral Commission South Africa (IEC) officials to ransom after they allegedly turned away Nkandla residents after the centre ran out of registration papers.
The president registered to vote on Saturday at the Ntolwane Primary School in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
He along with his wife, Tobeka Madiba-Zuma, registered in a smooth process.
The president's oldest son, a member of the Msholozi branch in KwaNxamalala village, said papers at the same centre where the president votes, ran out at around 16:30.
“The supervisor told about 50 people that the forms had run out and that they would be informed of another date to come back and register.
“We will lock the IEC officials inside the school until they bring the papers. We are not going to let them out,” said Zuma.
He said: “We are being played here. This is bad for democracy. We will not leave this centre until they bring the papers.”
He said: “This is embarrassing, this is where the president votes.”
KwaZulu-Natal IEC spokesperson Thabani Ngwira said officials were not allowed to turn away citizens who had been at the centre before 17:00.
“We will bring the papers, people who were in the centre before 17:00 must wait they will be assisted.”
However, Ngwira said officials had the right to turn people away who arrived at the centre after 17:00.
He said the Commission had not communicated an extension date for voter registration.
Ngwira condemned the threats made on IEC SA officials.
“They cannot threaten officials, we have the police on standby and if they threaten our staff, we will send the police,” he said.