Deputy President Motlanthe casts his vote

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pretoria- Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said there was no reason to jump the queue, as he waited patiently for his turn to cast his vote in the country’s fifth democratic elections on Wednesday.

“There is no reason for anybody to jump the queue. We are all voting as citizens and if I want to be at the head of the queue I should be here earliest. If there are people already queuing, there’s no basis for jumping the queue at all,"  he said, after casting his vote at the Colbyn voting station in Pretoria.

Arriving shortly after 7 am to cast his vote at the station, located at the corner of Allcock and Glyn streets, Deputy President Motlanthe joined the queue to cast his vote. He stood chatting to IEC Vice Chair Terry Tselane.

“Well it doesn’t make me feel any different in the sense that I will still be voting in the next elections God willing,” said Deputy President Motlanthe, who retired from government and Parliament this year.

He advised young people voting for the first time to consider the manifestos of the 29 registered parties appearing on the ballot when making their mark.

He appealed to South Africans to vote. 

“We encourage everybody to really exercise their right to vote; we are all spoilt for choice. There are about 29 parties [that have been registered in these elections]. I’m sure each South African can find a party which represents his or her interests.”

Deputy President Motlanthe said that as he votes in the 20th year into democracy, the message of the importance of voting has been successful.

“I think we’ve succeeded to  communicate the message that voting is very important because  contrary to all predictions, young  people do actually show an interest in voting  because  the IEC  has been communicating electronically through all platforms to ensure that they enthuse young people appreciate the importance of voting,” he explained.

On his appraisal of the country’s last five years, Motlanthe said that times have been “hectic”.

“It has been hectic. As leader of government business, I’m the link between the executive and Parliament. There’s been lots of to–ing and fro-ing with regards to  bills that had  to be processed in both houses and of course lots of work outside that space of Parliament.

“I also had to do work with the South African Aids Council and the Human Resource Development Council. There’s been lots of work,” he said, speaking outside the voting station.

Although he stepped down from government and Parliament, he said he intends to do work with NGOs.

The voting station was a hub of activity early on Election Day with head of the  African Union Election Observer Mission and former President of Ghana,  John Kufuor, visiting and getting a report of the voting process.

He commended the “calmness and orderliness” of the voting process.

First time voter Blessing Nyathi said one’s vote is one’s voice in the country. “I’ve never voted before, so I came early to get it done,” said the 30-year-old.

The queue at the voting station comprised young and old. Among those who came with their young children was Giles Millard who said  although democracy has its challenges it’s important to vote.  “Well its democracy for all its faults. It's probably the only system that allows for some form of representation. It’s the only real form of having your say," he said after casting his vote.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa have also cast their respective votes.

An upbeat Zille, dressed in purple, cast her vote in Cape Town. Like most politicians, she also waited patiently in the queue, and cast her vote after some twenty minutes.  - SAnews.gov.za

 

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