"My dad threw stones. The cops would shoot at him. My mom would pull pellets from his back with a tweezer, patch him up and he'd be ready for round two of klipgooi. All so that I could one day have the opportunity to get this blue ink dot on my finger. Go get yours," News24 journalist Tammy Petersen wrote on Facebook on Tuesday after casting her vote.
News24's journalists exercised a special vote on Tuesday to be able to cover the length and breadth of South Africa today. We are your ears and eyes for the next 72 hours as South Africa chooses a new government.
We agree with Tammy.
Thousands of people died or were injured for your right to vote. Only 25 years ago, the majority of South Africans could not vote. They were denied this basic human right because their skins weren't white.
The struggle against apartheid was a struggle for the vote, for hope and for a seat at the table. Your voice must be heard.
Political parties aren't perfect. There probably isn't one party that meets all your requirements on what a government should look like.
But what is the alternative?
If you don't vote, you outsource your democratic right to choose your leaders to someone else. If enough "other" people vote for a party you deeply disagree with, they will become your government.
You have heard all the slogans and speeches. You have read all the analyses and opinions. You have done our quiz on who to vote for. Now it's time to make your cross.
Choose a party that comes closest to representing your hopes and your dreams. Politicians aren't perfect, but they represent an important part of our democratic being. News24 says: vote for any party, but vote! – Editor.
- Did something special happen at your voting station? Do you have thoughts, pictures or video to share? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @News24 using the hashtag #SAElections2019.
- Still deciding who to vote for? Take our News24 elections party quiz to see which parties match your views.