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Bekkersdal vows to boycott voter registration

There is an uneasy truce between residents and police after rubber bullets were fired at protesters.

FILE: Bekkersdal residents say no voter registration will take place until the dissolution of the Greater Westonaria Municipality. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

BEKKERSDAL - Bekkersdal residents on Gauteng's West Rand have vowed to boycott this weekend's voter registration drive.

Tempers flared on Saturday when police fired rubber bullets to disperse angry community members who were trying to disrupt voter registration in the area.

There is an uneasy truce between resident and police after rubber bullets were fired at protesters.

Bekkersdal residents say no voter registration will take place until the dissolution of the Greater Westonaria Municipality.

This is the second time voter registration has been affected in the area.

The first registration weekend also suffered a similar disruption.

Meanwhile, speaking at a voter registration drive in Dobsonville, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane condemned what she called "voter intimidation" in Bekkersdal.

She said she respects residents' right to protest but also maintained the right to vote must also be respected by all.

WESTERN CAPE REGISTRATION

Voter registration points in Seapoint have been relatively busy today.

Many people say registering to vote in the upcoming general elections has been quick and easy.

Capetonians carrying their green ID books said they didn't have to wait in long queues at voter registration points in Seapoint today.

One woman thought the process was going to take much longer.

"It was nice, easy and quick because I just went in there for five minutes. I'm out already."

But for some the experience wasn't all good.

"There's this lady who's wearing a jacket who works there, I don't know what her name is but she's very rude."

Certain people were quick to share who they intend on voting for on 7 May.

"The DA. You know we're definitely voting for the DA."

Democratic Alliance party members were visible outside each of the registration points."

Over 22,000 voter registration stations are currently up and running across the country.

Earlier, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)'s Mosotho Moepya said apart from some minor glitches where some stations didn't open on time, things are going smoothly.

"With 22,263 voter registration stations countrywide, one can expect that sporadic instances will occur."

Moepya said some issues are not in their control.

"Of course there will be a few places where we will be challenged and in those instances, I am afraid it's beyond us."

HOME AFFAIRS OFFICES REMAIN OPEN

The Home Affairs Department says its offices will remain open this weekend so that eligible voters can apply for ID documents.

Voting stations have opened for the final weekend registration drive ahead of the general elections, set to take place on the 7th of May.

Minister Naledi Pandor says senior managers will keep an eye on the situation at home affairs offices this weekend.

"We've also deployed our mobile trucks to assist our people to apply for their ID documents or to be issued with a temporary ID certificate."