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Vuwani voting stations close before 7pm cut-off time

Many residents stayed away from the polls today to show their dissatisfaction with demarcation issues.

A voter places his vote into a ballot box at a school in Matsila. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Some voting stations in Vuwani earlier closed before the 7pm cut-off time.

Both the Makhado Local Municipality offices and the Avhatandoni Primary School, which were set up by Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials with the help of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), closed before the cut-off time.



One resident, who stood outside the voting station earlier, said she expected to find the doors open.

"I so wanted to vote, because it's our right to vote."

The electoral commission says a collective decision was taken to close some of the voting stations in Vuwani earlier, at 5pm.

The IEC confirmed the decision at an elections progress briefing earlier today where it was announced that polling had gone smoothly across the country.

Chief electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya says although some stations closed early in Vuwani, people who were still in the queue would still be allowed to vote after the station closed.

"This is not a decision taken unilaterally by the IEC. The commission has consulted and the commission in law has the authority to determine voting hours as circumstances may require."

Meanwhile, some Vuwani residents, who have chosen to boycott the elections, earlier chased African National Congress (ANC) campaigners away, saying they cannot be convinced to cast their ballots.

Residents vowed to stay away from the polls today to show their dissatisfaction with demarcation issues in the area.



Minister Des van Rooyen visited Vuwani earlier checking on proceedings and said it was unfortunate that some opted to stay away.

"Voetsek. Voetsek," were the words of community members who were angered by an ANC convoy they say they're upset with the governing party.

"They made us angry. And when they do respond, the ANC will say we attacked them and we're not attacking them."

Chief Livhuane Matstila is one of the traditional leaders government has engaged to try resolve the concerns.

He said this year's turn out would likely be the lowest ever.

"It's a very sad day. I think the whole community is depressed by the situation."



Earlier, residents were being entertained at a community soccer tournament instead of voting.

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