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IEC officials won’t return for a second time to voters’ homes

todayMay 27, 2024 39

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The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says the frail, elderly and physically challenged voters who were not found by officials when they came to assist them at their homes, will have to cast their ballots on Wednesday – alongside millions of other South Africans.

The commission confirmed that it will only visit special voters, who were approved for home visits, once.

“If we don’t find the voter, our teams will not return for a second time. However, those voters will still be able to cast their special vote on May 29th,” said IEC Deputy CEO, Masego Sheburi, during a media briefing on the first day of special voting.

Special voting was set down for Monday and Tuesday. The first day was marked by disruptions following demonstrations across parts of Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

Over 100 voting stations were closed in Mthatha due to a taxi blockade, as taxi operators demanded the return of their confiscated guns.

In Gauteng, residents of Diepsloot protested to express their dissatisfaction with special voting in the area.

Diepsloot community leader, Loyiso Toyiya, expressed grievances over understaffing at voting stations, long queues, and the extended wait times for the elderly.

Maureen Johnson, an 84-year-old who cast her vote at Rosebank Primary School, shared this sentiment and hopes that her vote will lead to positive change for the younger generation.

“I think the younger generation is getting angry now. They’ve had enough. They don’t necessarily know what they want, but they know they don’t want this nonsense,” she told YNews.

The police have meanwhile deployed extra Public Order Policing (POP) members to parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape’s Umthatha.

While Umthatha was rocked by the taxi blockade, parts of Jacob Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal remain volatile as some MK Party supporters are unhappy about the removal of the former president’s name from the ballot box, with some accusing the governing ANC of being in bed with the IEC in a bid to rig the elections.

SAPS national spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, says sending the police officers off, National Police Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola, sent a clear message that no lawlessness will be tolerated during this crucial period of South Africa’s democracy.

Five people, who had attempted to block roads leading to the Mthatha Airport, have been arrested. Written by Naomi Kobbie

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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