No major incidents reported on first day of special voting, says IEC
Hundreds of thousands of elderly voters and those who wouldn’t be able to cast their ballots on Wednesday made use of the opportunity to cast special votes on Monday.
JOHANNESBURG - The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said on Monday no major incidents had been reported on the first of two special voting days across the country.
Hundreds of thousands of elderly voters and those who wouldn’t be able to cast their ballots on Wednesday, 8 May, made use of the opportunity.
One such voter was Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who made his mark at his home in Milnerton, Cape Town.
#SAElections2019 #SpecialVotes The Arch makes a brief appearance after he and his wife cast cast their special votes. He walks out waving and saying ‘thank you for coming’, as photographers and journalists stand at the gate. SF pic.twitter.com/YTIml7yf5w— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) May 6, 2019
Tutu was not the only one who cast his vote in the comfort of his home, he shared the experience with one special voter from Bellville who cast her ballot from her bedroom because of her inability to walk properly.
“I feel happy that I voted, I hope for the right party that will lead me and help me,” she said.
The IEC said minor challenges reported by election officials on Monday included the late delivery of some election materials, last-minute pitching of tents and the non-arrival of staff due to illness.
The commission said it had contingency plans in place for election officials who may be absent on any of the voting days and had back-up materials where necessary.
Voting got off to a shaky start in Soweto because of a misunderstanding over whether Monday’s vote was for home visits and if walk-ins were allowed.
Khuthala Primary School in Soweto was one of the stations opened for special voting on Monday.
Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane was at the school to cast her vote.
However, when voting started some voters, including the minister, could not make their mark because of the misunderstanding over the voting process. They were eventually allowed to vote later.
“They were not available to make us vote here," she said.
"They said they don’t accept walk-ins, which we found very strange because we understand that special votes are about those at home and it’s also about the voting station. So, I anticipated to come and vote earlier and was told they are not doing that."
Once that was resolved, at least one voter was still turned back.