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Voting day a mixed bag of woe, pride and frustration in Pretoria

01 November 2021 - 15:41 By SHONISANI TSHIKALANGE and GRAEME HOSKEN
Innocentia Ndhlovu, 40 said she felt like a failure as she was unable to vote on Monday in ward 2 in Mabopane.
Innocentia Ndhlovu, 40 said she felt like a failure as she was unable to vote on Monday in ward 2 in Mabopane.
Image: Shonisani Tshikalange

In Ward 22, while some walked out having cast their votes, Jacob Mochadibang walked out of the voting station in Mabopane north of Pretoria, with a sad face after being told his name did not appear on the voters' roll.

After looking forward to vote for the first time, the 49-year old's excitement soon turned sour as he was turned away. Still desperate to vote, he was planning to go to surrounding voting stations to see if by any luck, he appeared on their list.

“I have registered, I wonder how it is possible that my name isn't here, as I even received confirmation.

“I am not OK. When the IEC said we must register to vote, I did that, but I don’t understand why they say I don’t appear on the voters' roll.

"I was sitting here for longer than 30 minutes and they have been taking me from place to place. They have been sending different people, but nothing happens,” he said.

Joining him in voting day woes, Innocentia Ndhlovu, who recently moved from the North West, said she was also not on the voters' roll despite registering.

"I feel like a failure. I can’t vote here, I can’t go back to vote in Rustenburg when I live here now,” she said.

"I don’t know if they don’t want my vote, but if you don’t vote, how do you fight for your rights?"

IEC officials and police speak to community leaders in Mamelodi East on Monday where residents have been complaining that their names are not on the voters' roll despite registering at polling stations in the area.
IEC officials and police speak to community leaders in Mamelodi East on Monday where residents have been complaining that their names are not on the voters' roll despite registering at polling stations in the area.
Image: Graeme Hosken

She said she wanted to give her vote to the ANC.

The unemployed 40-year-old volunteer said she had never had full-time employment.

“I have four children. They are still in school and I have to take care of them as my husband passed away."

At the ward 16 voting station in Mamelodi East, Pretoria, the only sign of life for quite some time was an ice-cream seller ringing his bell vigorously and two police officers keeping an eye out for potential trouble.

While tensions were high at the nearby Ward 93 voting station at the Life Giving Ministries, at the Ward 16 station IEC officials said of the 1,300 registered voters only 200 had arrived to vote by 11am.

The voting station is at Bula Dikgoro Primary School. An IEC official, who asked not to be named as she was not authorised to speak to the media, said it was incredibly quiet. “It is a public holiday so people can't be at work. The turnout is really low.

"We really hope that it picks up this afternoon and this evening.”

She said it was mostly the elderly who had come to vote. “We hope the youth start coming in. We want the young and the old to vote.”

Earlier, Tshwane Metro Police and SAPS had to form a perimeter around the voting station at Life Giving Ministries to protect IEC officials and voters as scores of people, who claimed they had not been allowed to register, were trying to get in.

In Mabopane, the hometown of slain ward 22 councillor, Tshepo Motaung, Monika Mokome, 81, said all she wanted was a house.

Motaung died in a hail of bullets in September, with at least 20 shots piercing his body.

“It broke my heart. I was there with him when he was elected, when he died I felt the pain. I used to help him to do proof of residence,” Mokomo  said.

“I voted for ANC, I will die in ANC. They haven’t done everything that we want but the Lord will help us and they will do what they should."

First-time voter, 22-year-old Kabelo Legane, said he wanted to see changes through his vote. “Crime must stop, we want to see patrollers,” he said.

Letta Lekolwane, 65, said all she wants is a job for her child and a house.

"I voted for my party, I don’t change. We have been there, they set us free from the struggle. Since I started voting, I have been on the same side, even if there are disruptions I won’t change,” she said.

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