Zuma casts his vote in Nkandla

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nkandla - President of the African National Congress (ANC) Jacob Zuma made his mark at Ntulwane Primary School this morning, amid loud cheering and singing from the crowd which had gathered there.

He cast his vote in his homestead of Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Dressed in a grey jacket and pants, and blue shirt, a jovial Mr Zuma shook hands with electoral officials when he arrived at the voting station.

A large crowd, which had gathered as early as 6am to see him, sang, ululated and cheered as the ANC's presidential candidate cast his ballot.

Mr Zuma said the process and queues at the polling stations had moved far quicker than he had expected.

He said by voting, both himself and the people of South Africa would see themselves as part of the country.

"When I was a young boy I never thought that I would be voting in this area. Even the people who are in the rural areas are still finding it hard to believe that they are casting their vote in their rural areas.

"This makes me feel great and it's a feeling far different from the one that we had under the apartheid government," said Mr Zuma.

He cast his vote under the watchful eye of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo who is in the country as part of a group of 333 observers who will be witnessing the election to ensure it is free and fair.

Election observer Sandile Zeka told BuaNews that the voting process was going well in the province.

He said while they were off to a slow start in the morning, voters were now arriving in their numbers.

"People here are very relaxed compared to the previous elections. It shows that the people are now educated about voting and what is means for them," said Mr Zeka.

Mr Zuma, who was accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal legislature speaker Willie Mchunu and former Scorpions spokesperson Makhosini Nkosi, said now all that was left, was to wait and watch the results as they come in.