President Zuma makes his mark

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has cast his vote at Ntolwane Primary School in KwaNxamalala, near his birthplace in Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal.

The President last voted at the school - which is just a stone’s throw away from his home - in the local government elections in 2011 and during the 2009 general elections.

He was greeted by a large local and international media contingent, as well as jovial locals, who ululated upon seeing him. Various security personnel were also present.  

South Africa's number one citizen arrived just after 10am and joined the queue of voters, not wanting any special treatment. His first wife MaKhumalo stood behind him. They were accompanied by Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Pansy Tlakula.

People tried to shake his hand, while others took pictures with their mobile phones. The President appeared to be in good spirits after casting his vote.

Speaking to the media shortly after, President Zuma said he felt “good and very enthusiastic”, as the day marked the culmination of months of canvassing by all political parties.

“It feels good that I have just voted, and I hope that all voters will cast their votes freely, without any problems. This is our right that we fought for, among other rights we have.”

The President said he wanted to see proceedings going peacefully throughout the country.

"My wish is that throughout the country, voting must be peaceful.

“I am very happy and hope that the results will be very good,” he said.

Asked who he voted for, President Zuma laughed and said, “It is a secret.”

Many political party heavy weights also voted in their home towns this morning.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille made her mark at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Rondebosch in Cape Town just after 9am, accompanied by her husband Johann Maree.

Zille is the Premier of the Western Cape and the DA has been pushing to retain the province and increase its support in the national and provincial ballot in today’s elections.

Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele surprised voters when she arrived to make her mark at the Sea Point library voting station in Cape Town.

Julius Malema, the leader of the new kid on the block, Economic Freedom Fighters, arrived two hours after the voting station opened in his hometown, to vote at Mponegele Primary School in Seshego, while Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota voted in his hometown of Bloemfontein in the Free State.

In KwaZulu-Natal, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi cast his vote in Ulundi, as did National Freedom Party (NFP) President Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi. Msibi made her mark at the Thengisangaye Primary School -- a school she built.

Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada cast his vote at 8.30am at the University of Witwatersrand in Parktown.

The election on Wednesday takes place as the country celebrates 20 years of democracy.

Late former President Nelson Mandela cast the first vote on 27 April 1994 at Ohlange High School in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Mandela’s vote on that historic day marked the final nail in the apartheid coffin, as it signalled the dawn of the new democratic dispensation of majority rule. -

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