AS IT HAPPENED: Voting station in Free State burnt down, several others closed - IEC

2018-03-10 07:48

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 has announced.

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Last Updated at 17:39
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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 held a press briefing on Saturday afternoon to update the media on its work.

A tent erected as a temporary voting station in Harrismith was burnt down and another stolen in Kroonstad by respondents and other demolished and destroyed by residents, Mamabolo said.

Some of the affected areas include:

- In Gauteng, seven voting stations in ward 55 in Katlehong 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 Kimberley.

- On-going protests over municipal demarcation in Vuwani has affected 10 voting stations which remain closed.

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Johannesburg - DA leader Mmusi Maimane is encouraging young people to register to vote. 

Maimane visited Sedi Laka primary in school Kalfontein an IEC voting station accompanying two young people to register to vote.

He told journalists that Kalfontein was one of the areas the DA was working hard to ensure it delivered services.

"I came here today because the most under registered people are young people. We encourage them to register to vote because it is about their future." 

He added that come the 2019 elections, young people must ensure that they pick a government that ends poverty.

Not missing an opportunity to take a swipe at the ANC, Maimane said that whilst the DA was trying to end poverty some party's are introducing VAT, "Wanting to take away just the ability for people to live," he said.

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We won't turn anyone away from working on ANC election campaign, including Zuma – Mbalula

The ANC will not turn away anyone who wants to work on its election campaign, including former President Jacob Zuma, the party's head of elections Fikile Mbalula said on Friday.

He made the comments in defence of Zuma's participation in the party's elections registration drive this weekend.

Mbalula was speaking at a media briefing at the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters just hours after the ANC's chief whip in Parliament announced that the former minister of police had resigned as a member of Parliament.

He said the ANC would over the next two days embark on an intense voter registration campaign, urging young people to take up the opportunity to register to vote in the general elections next year.

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What you need to know about voter registration weekend

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has urged all South Africans to visit voting stations and register on Saturday and Sunday for the 2019 general elections.

The IEC launched a number of initiatives to encourage South Africans to register following a 2016 Constitutional Court ruling which required the IEC to update the voters' roll with complete addresses.

Why do you need to register?   

"The voters' roll is a fundamental safeguard for free and fair elections. It is an instrument for facilitating electoral participation, which is placed at the disposal of political parties for campaign purposes," said chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo.

"It serves a functional purpose as a planning tool for accurate provision of electoral material and the avoidance of electoral fraud."

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