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Voting proceeds smoothly in NC despite violent clashes

Residents protested at a voting station in Holpan, a town just outside Kimberly.

FIlE: A voter placing her marked ballots into the local and national ballot boxes on 8 May 2019. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Voting proceeded smoothly at all stations despite violent clashes on Wednesday morning in the Northern Cape, says the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) in the province.

Residents protested at a voting station in Holpan, a town just outside Kimberly.

The IEC's Maruping Wildebees said police had to fire rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

He said after engagement with the protesters, they agreed to let people into the voting station to cast their ballots.

Provincial ANC spokesperson Naledi Gaosekwe said the voting station opened at 11am.

“There is an agreement with the individuals that were causing disruptions there that everything would be sorted out after elections and they must not stop people who want to vote.”

No injuries were reported to the IEC, but eNCA has reported a member of its camera crew was struck by a rock.

Earlier on Wednesday there were reports of protests in the Eastern Cape.

Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said voting was not disrupted, however.

“It has not affected operations to a point where we have to close. Those voting stations are functional”

He said the IEC was receiving support from the police “to ensure that those protests are stopped and those who are perpetuating them and impeding people’s rights to cast their ballots are investigated”.