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Politicians begin to cast their votes

Leaders like Kgalema Motlanthe, Cyril Ramaphosa, & Julius Malema are voting this morning.

Political leaders including Kgalema Motlanthe (pictured), Cyril Ramaphosa, and Julius Malema are voting this morning. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

SOWETO/PRETORIA/SESHEGO- This morning thousands of polling stations across the nation opened marking the start of South Africa's fifth democratic elections.

More than 25 million people are registered to vote nationally and over 20,000 voting stations are to open their doors at 7am.

An hour into the 2014 general elections political leaders including Kgalema Motlanthe, Cyril Ramaphosa, Helen Zille and Julius Malema are voting this morning as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said it was receiving isolated reports of problems at voting booths.

Scores of people queue up to cast their votes at the Orlando West High in Soweto on 7 May 2014. Picture: Marisa Oosthuizen/EWN.

A handful of Soweto residents are already waiting in line to make their mark this morning.

There's a high police presence at the Hitekeni Primary School where a handful of people have already started queuing.

ANC deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to cast his ballot there later today.

IEC officials have started setting up in the area and say they are ready for the start of voting.

Over 2,000 people have registered to vote at the school today.

MOTLANTHE VOTES IN COLBYN

It's a cool and crisp morning in Colbyn near the presidential compound where Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has voted.

Motlanthe urged people to consider the manifestos of each party and vote according to their own conscience.

"We're all spoiled for choice as there are 29 registered parties and I'm sure every South African can find a party that represents his or her interests."

Morning joggers with their dogs on leashes have run up the cordoned-off street where several police vehicles have parked.

A handful of residents have already gathered and some of them have their children in tow.

Electoral officials are seated at tables inside a tent erected in a well-tended public park and they've been here since before dawn.

Meanwhile, queues are growing at one of the country's biggest polling stations in Joubert Park in central Johannesburg.

An aerial view of voting stations around Johannesburg. Picture: Aki Anastasiou/EWN.

Over the last half hour the queue has grown quickly to over 200 people.

Some voters said it was important for them to be there.

They said it had been easy to decide who to vote for and they were looking forward to getting into the polling booth.

MALEMA TO VOTE IN SESHEGO

Scores of voters in the ANC stronghold of Limpopo continue to pour into the township of Seshego.

Seshego is the home of Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and he's expected to make his mark there at 8am.

Numbers continue to grow at the Mponegele Primary School, with close to 100 people in line awaiting the station's opening.

Scores of voters have braced the morning cold to queue at Malema's former school, Mponegele Primary in Seshego. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

Many have wrapped themselves in blankets and are huddled together to fight off the crisp air.

The presiding officer for the station said they expected no glitches in serving the 2,738 registered voters today.

The most notable of which will be Malema who attended school there.

Video: Mbeki urges SA to vote.

Furthermore, ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete arrived in a small convoy and joined the queue where a place had been kept for her.

ANC chair Baleka Mbete arrives to vote in Berario, in Johannesburg, to cast her vote. Picture: EWN.

Waiting to enter the voting station Mbete said for her, the choice of who to vote for was an easy one.

"I will vote for the ANC until I die"

For the latest from #Elections2014 follow EWN's live blog.

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