1 voting station torched, several others closed or vandalised as voter registration weekend gets under way

2018-03-10 14:01
SA elections. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

SA elections. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pretoria -  A voting station in the Free State was torched and several others closed across the country on the first day of voter registration, the IEC announced on Saturday. 

The Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo and other officials held a press briefing on Saturday afternoon to update the media on its work.

Voting station in Free State burnt down, several others closed - IEC

Voting stations in all but the Mpumalanga province were affected by protests.

Some of the affected areas include:

- In the Free State, a tent erected as a temporary voting station in Harrismith was burnt down, another was stolen in Kroonstad by residents and a third was demolished and destroyed by residents, Mamabolo said.

- In Gauteng, seven voting stations in Ward 55 in Katlehong, on the East Rand, were affected by ongoing community protests;

 - Community residents in Ntabankulu in the Eastern Cape shutdown activities in voting stations, however the mayor intervened;

- Parts of Wonderkop in the North West were also closed;

- Gazebos had to be erected by staff in Tongaat in KwaZulu-Natal when communities threatened landlords of venues used by the IEC;

- Dunoon residents in the Western Cape forced an evacuation of election staff by police;

- One tent was vandalised overnight and another stolen in Kimberly, Northern Cape;

- On-going protest over municipal demarcation in Vuwani, Limpopo have affected 10 voting stations which remain closed;

Despite on-going interruptions, Mamabolo said that the problems reported constituted less than 1% of its stations.

"We are doing everything within our means to reopen stations either by negotiating with communities or erecting temporary structures. The intention is to reopen facilities at the earliest convenience," he said.

He thanked political parties as well as the media and other stakeholders for assisting the IEC in raising awareness of its weekend activities.

At least 73 000 elections officials were deployed in some 22 600 voting stations across the country, he added.

The weather had also contributed positively to high participation with little rain reported.

Read more on:    iec  |  pretoria  |  elections  |  protests

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