Western Cape IEC head dedicates election to teen daughter who never got the chance to vote

2016-08-04 22:14
Este Shelley, 16, was Western Cape IEC head Courtney Sampson's daughter who was killed in a car accident. (Facebook)

Cape Town - For most South Africans, August 4 stood out as the day election results would start coming in, but for Western Cape IEC head Courtney Sampson, it was also the anniversary of his daughter's untimely death.

Este Shelley, 16, was killed in a car accident in Bellville 15 years ago.

The night before local government elections, he posted her photo and a dedication message on his Facebook page.

Sampson, a reverend, has been tirelessly running around for many weeks to prepare all parties for the polls and make sure things run smoothly.

"When I saw 3rd August, 4th August, it rings in your head forever. I think it made sense for me to dedicate this to her because she never had the opportunity to vote," he told News24 on the side-lines at the provincial results centre.

He and his wife Glenda had one other child, their son Ryan.

'Good space'

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Sampson believes life’s experiences are a lesson in appreciation.

"They contribute to who we become and what we seek to achieve in life," he said softly.

"It is a good space to be when one can accept this is where you are and you can also learn."

Sampson has been involved with the election process as an official since 1999.

Over time he has learnt to deal with complaints and things that go wrong.

It "threw him completely" in the beginning.

"I think we are in a space now, when we get a complaint about something, we take it seriously and deal with it."

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local 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, or download the app for iOS and Android.

Read more on: iec  |  local elections 2016