Long queues in Soweto as voting gains momentum

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Soweto - Long queues are building up in many parts of Soweto as people come out in their numbers to cast their vote in the country’s fifth democratic election.

At Morris Isaacson High School in Jabavu, an estimated 200 people have formed a long line to cast their ballots.

The station opened on time and there were no major problems reported with regard to voting. But police did have to remove a group of ANC supporters who were handing out party t-shirts too close to the voting station.

Political parties had until midnight yesterday to wrap up their campaigns; no political activity is allowed today.

Morris Isaacson High School has a strong link to the student protests of 16 June 1976. It is at this school where the protest is said to have gained momentum after starting at Naledi High School in the south western end of Soweto.

The students protested in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in local schools.

Most of those in the queue were young people and some of them were voting for the first time.

Those who spoke to SAnews expressed their excitement at the opportunity to vote in the country’s fifth democratic elections since 1994.

“I am very excited, there is no feeling as good as having an opportunity to vote in one’s country,” said 31-year-old Nthabiseng Ranaka, after casting her vote.

Ranaka voted for the second time on Wednesday after she cast her first vote during the 2009 elections.

Several voters were now making their way to a local Wimpy restaurant at Jabulani Mall where a free coffee is on offer for those with ink on their thumbs.

The IEC officials mark the voter's left thumb with indelible ink, before giving them their ballot papers.

 At Lebole High School, and Soding Primary School also in Jabavu, voting also got off to a smooth start with voters spending less than 20 minutes in the queue.

IEC officials say they expect the queues to start building up around midday. 

At Hitekani Primary School, where ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to vote, the mood is jovial with some people singing as they formed a long queue. - SAnews.gov.za



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