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Mokonyane says sorry in Bekkersdal

Nomvula Mokonyane has apologised for her utterances during the Bekkersdal protests.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane addresses resident of Bekkersdal during ongoing service delivery protests on 25 October 2013. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has apologised to residents of Bekkersdal after she was quoted as saying the ANC does not need protesters' "dirty votes".

Residents had threatened to boycott the election registration process this weekend until the premier apologised.

Mokonyane says the situation has been blown out of proportion.

Residents have been out in the streets again burning tyres and throwing stones.

Mokonyane says people must not be deprived of the right to register and vote next year.

Voting stations are being monitored by police and people have been registering.

IEC

At the same time, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has called on communities not to boycott the voter registration process, saying that every vote counts.

Registration stations opened at 8am this morning and will close at 5pm.

Registration will continue on Sunday.

Registration at a primary school next to the Regina Mundi Church is off to a slow start.

The voting station opened just after 9am.

Few ANC officials came to the venue to monitor how registration was going.

So far officials say there have been nine new registrations and 31 people have re-registered to vote for the 2014 general elections.

DIEPSLOOT

The registration process in Diepsloot has had a slow start, but officials expect queues later after lunch.

Twenty one-year-old Lorraine Mashamaite and her 18-year-old sister were among the first-time voters who registered in Diepsloot this morning.

The sisters say they will be voting next year because they want change in the country.

"It's my first time I'm going to be voting. I'm very excited. My grandmother woke me up this morning to go register."

Only a few people have arrived at the Diepsloot registration centres so far, with no one having to queue as yet.

WESTERN CAPE

The IEC in the Western Cape says they have experienced problems at two voter registration points in Site C in Khayelitsha and Philippi.

The IEC's Courtney Sampson says they have managed to sort out the issue at the hall in Philippi which was double booked.

"At Site C, where the community has been very problematic in terms of expressing some discontent, we were advised by the police to just hang on before we open there. At the moment we are trying to assess whether the situation is too volatile to continue."

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