Second elderly person dies on the way to the voting booth

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An ANC activist in her 70s died a few steps away from a polling booth in Gauteng, the party confirmed on Wednesday.

She is the second person reported to have died at a polling station on election day.

The ANC did not release the activist's name.

ANC Gauteng secretary Jacob Khawe told News24 on Wednesday afternoon that the woman who died in Emfuleni was approaching the booth when she collapsed.

"They tried to call the emergency services but unfortunately we lost her."

He said the woman tried to vote on Tuesday but had not registered for a special vote, so she was turned away. He said her commitment to voting and the fact that she returned on Wednesday was a lesson for young people.

"She’s an elderly activist of the ANC. She would have last served in the structures of the ANC in 2005 as a branch executive committee member. Her commitment to reach the voting station yesterday and today is quite a demonstration of how seriously she takes the elections. People take this seriously and there are those who do not.

"It’s a lesson to us who are younger, that the old lady knew the purpose and the intention of the vote," Khawe said.

Another elderly voter died at a voting station in Elandspoort, Tshwane, on Wednesday morning, the Electoral Commission (IEC) said

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the 67-year old man collapsed at Westview Park, Zithobeni station in Tshwane West after complaining of chest pains. 

He was certified dead by emergency personnel.

Peters said that that in Emfuleni, the elderly woman collapsed and died at Mqiniswa Primary School voting station in Bophelong, Vanderbijlpark.

Voting was temporarily suspended in order for police to process the scene and inquest dockets have been opened.

Peters appealed for ubuntu in order to allow elderly people to move to the front of queues to mitigate similar and other medical incidents.

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.

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