Elections in Mpumalanga proceed without incident, despite threats

2019-05-08 13:19
Deputy President David Mabuza casts his vote
Deputy President David Mabuza casts his vote at the Azuri Farm voting station in Barberton, Mpumalanga. (Twitter)

Despite fears of possible protests and the disruptions in Mpumalanga, the sixth national and provincial elections started off peacefully in the province.

One of the few hiccups reported to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) was the late opening of polling stations.

Near Mbombela, one polling station also had a shortage of forms to register voters from outside the province who wanted to vote in Mpumalanga.

However, the problem was speedily resolved, IEC provincial spokesperson Sibusiso Nkosi said.

Nkosi said there were minor disruptions at one of the polling stations in Bushbuck Ridge, where the community held a protest meeting after their water tank was stolen overnight.

"It did not affect voting at all, and the problem was resolved by community leaders," police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said.

According to Bosman Grobler, provincial campaign manager for the DA, the polling station at Nkhumbini Primary School in Bushbuck Ridge opened late because the ballot papers did not arrive on time.

It was reported to the IEC and the polling station opened about two hours late.

No disruptions

Hlathi said police were out in full force and they manned polling stations to ensure that no disruptions occurred.

"No public protest, blocking of roads or any other disruptions have been reported to the JOC (joint operation centre)."

An armed robbery was reported in Matsulu and the local police and the Mpumalanga flying squad were attending to the matter.

On an online voting chat group run by Suburb.News in the Lowveld, where voters give feedback on their experiences at voting stations, most indicated that electoral officers were competent and that queues at most stations were not excessively long.

According to voters, the waiting time at larger voting stations is about 50 minutes.

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.

Elections 2019

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