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Politicians make their mark

Leaders queued alongside ordinary South Africans to vote in SA’s fifth democratic elections.

President Jacob Zuma arrived at the voting station in Nkandla where he voted on 7 May 2014. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - A number of high-profile South Africans have been queuing alongside ordinary citizens waiting to make their mark in South Africa's fifth democratic elections.

President Jacob Zuma earlier voted in his rural village of Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal and said he hoped all South Africans would be able to do the same freely.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe voted in Pretoria as did Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Former president Nelson Mandela and ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's daughter Zindzi voted at the Killarney Country Club in northern Johannesburg.

This was the same station that her late father used to cast his vote.

"I feel so proud to be here. Yes there is a sense of longing because he [Mandela] isn't here but I'm even more determined to do what is right by him and do what he would expect me to do as a responsible citizen."

Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele cast her vote alongside dozens of Cape Town residents at Sea Point Public Library.

She says South Africa is closing the door on its painful past today and looking to the future.

"I feel excited to have been part of a journey to get South Africans to engage with how they as the owners of this democracy can shape their future."

Struggle veteran and ' Vote No' campaigner Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge also voted in Sea Point.

She believes the ANC has become too arrogant.

Madlala-Routledge and former Cabinet minister Ronnie Kasrils launched the initiative last month.

It calls on South Africans to either vote for smaller parties or to spoil their ballot.

Madlala-Routledge said she voted for two smaller parties.

ANC heavyweight Gwede Mantashe spent almost two hours in a queue alongside Ekurhuleni Mayor Mondli Gungubele and ordinary citizens at the Freeway Park Primary School.

He said he doesn't believe the 'Vote No' Campaign will have a lot of impact.

Mantashe took a strong stand against the controversial campaign, saying it cannot be justified.

Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula cast his vote at Orange Grove Primary School after chatting to residents in the queue.

He told Eyewitness News that South Africans nationwide should be delighted with the voter turnout.

The minister said South Africans should be proud of their efforts.

"I feel great today. To come to this day and to find South Africans peacefully queuing to vote, we can really be counted among the best nations in the world."

Mbalula said the ANC has worked vigorously to achieve success.

"We have run a clean campaign, very tiring, taxing and hectic. We were focused on convincing people door-to-door. At the end of the day, people believe in this great movement."

Congress of South African Trade Unions General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi cast his vote in Morningside Manor in northern Johannesburg this afternoon.

He said he was quite encouraged by the turnout but added there weren't enough young people at the polling station.

Human rights lawyer George Bizos cast his vote in Parktown North.

He said he was upset to hear that there had been violent protests in the Bekkersdal area

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema cast his vote at in Seshego, Limpopo, together with his grandmother Sarah.

He held her hand throughout most of their voting process.