Wednesday 19th Jun 2019

Botho Molosankwe and Loyiso Ndimba - The Argus -

Police and the presidential guard unit had their hands full trying to control the crowds that could not contain their excitement at seeing President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of his vote in Chiawelo. Pictures: GCIS - 

Johannesburg - Police and the presidential guard unit had their hands full trying to control the crowds that could not contain their excitement at seeing President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of his vote in Chiawelo. People screamed in pain and others in excitement as everyone pushed forward to catch a glimpse of the smiling and waving Ramaphosa. A human chain that had been formed disintegrated as the people were pushed out of position when excitement peaked.

Ramaphosa, who was voting at Hitekani Primary School in Chiawelo, was accompanied by his wife Dr Tshepo Motsepe.
Ramaphosa started at the ANC tent that was outside the voting station before going into the school yard to cast his vote. As he walked in, people kept pushing and shoving although only a limited people were allowed inside.

Things later got out of control as everyone, including young children, accessed the school yard, making the police and presidential work even more difficult as they battled to control the crowds. ANC members, who had also got into the yard, started chanting "ANC, ANC, ANC" "Phakama Ramaphosa" while EFF supporters, who were also inside the yard started chanting: "EFF, EFF, EFF".

Ramaphosa said even 25 years later there was still excitement in casting his vote. "We hope that the outcome will be in line with our people’s wishes,” he said when he addressed the media after voting.

Ramaphosa promised South Africans change after the elections, saying the ANC knows its mistakes and apologised for them. ”We are sorry about the mistakes we have made. Only those who don’t do anything don’t make mistakes,” he said.

Ramaphosa also undertook to implement the recommendations of the various commissions of inquiry. ”After the commission, recommendations are going to be made we will deal with the recommendations,” he said.

Ramaphosa also promised to root out corruption."What we are saying is never and never again must South Africa go through what we have gone through where there are thieves, where there is malfeasance,” he said, adding that the ANC had learnt its lesson.

Ramaphosa continued: “Those with eyes and ears can see that change is happening. The glass is now half full."

He said the next administration will focus on growing the country’s economy and attract investments. ”After this election we want investors to look at South Africa differently,” Ramaphosa said.

While many people were happy that they caught a glimpse of the president, Gladys Tenyane, 74, and Norence Oliphant, 69, were disappointed as they had missed him. The two cast their votes early in the morning and went back to the voting station after hearing that Ramaphosa would be arriving soon.

Tenyane said being short proved a disadvantage as tall people got to see Ramaphosa while she couldn't. "We were inside the ANC tent that he also went to but we could not see him," she said.
 
Oliphant said was hurt that she had missed Ramaphosa. After voting, she had rushed home to quickly drink tea to warm herself before going back to the voting station to see Ramaphosa.
"My children asked me where I was going as it was very cold but I wanted to see Ramaphosa. Unfortunately people were pushing us and my foot was even injured as I hit a brick.
"If I had an opportunity to speak to Ramaphosa, I would ask him when he would be giving us a raise on our pension. The EFF promised to double our pension but I'm sticking with the ANC because I've always been a member. I can't turn my back on them."
 
ANC takes early lead, BLF struggles far behind
ANA Reporter -

Pretoria - The African National Congress (ANC) on Thursday took an early lead as counting of national and provincial ballots continued in the early hours.
By 5 am the ANC had garnered more than 50 percent, with the Democratic Alliance (DA) at about 25 percent and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) a lowly 7 percent. Early counting placed the militant Black First Land First (BLF) in the distance with less than 700 votes of the million or so ballots counted so far.

As many as 48 parties participated in the elections on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said in most areas voting progressed smoothly "despite isolated incidents where voting operations were adversely affected by inclement weather, community unrest, power outages and some logistical challenges".

Inclement weather conditions affected temporary voting stations in the Free State and the Eastern Cape.
"Strong thunderstorms were reported in the early evening in the Free State where 16 temporary voting stations in Mangaung were blown down by strong winds and where heavy rain affected the conditions underfoot," the statement said.
"In Nelson Mandela Bay and Craddock in the Eastern Cape heavy rain and winds also affected operations in more than 30 temporary voting stations."
Power cuts, which have become more commonplace in the country as Eskom grapples with financial and operational woes, plunged several voting stations in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng into darkness with candles being lit to guide voters.
"The Electoral Commission has been working closely with Eskom and local municipalities to rapidly restore power in affected areas."
Explaining the process after voting stations closed its doors, the IEC said that electoral staff would check the seals and open ballot boxes whereafter the ballots are reconciled with those issued.
"Once the reconciliation is completed, the marked ballots are sorted into piles according to the party voted for. For ease of counting, the ballots are grouped together in batches of tens and hundreds," the IEC said.
"The ballots for each party are counted and recounted to ensure accuracy and the results captured on two duplicate results slips which reflect the voting station, the number of cast ballots, the number of votes for each party and the number of spoiled ballots."
The process is observed by party agents who then sign the results slips which are posted on the door of the voting station.
"One result slip is then posted on the door of the voting station while the other is taken by the Presiding Officer to the local IEC office where it is scanned and the data entered into the results system using a double capture system to minimise any human error."
"Once audited by independent auditors, the results are released and are simultaneously visible to all those with access to the results system – including Electoral Commission, political parties, observers and the media. Parties can verify the captured results against their copy of the original results slip to ensure accuracy."
The IEC expected the first results from voting districts with smaller numbers of voters to be reflected on the commission's results system before midnight on Wednesday.
Results from other larger voting districts are expected from Thursday onward.

African News Agency (ANA)
 
Bekkersdal voter hopes things will change this time
Siphumelele Khumalo - The Star -

Residents of Mandela informal settlement in Bekkersdal queue to vote early on Wednesday morning. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) -

Johannesburg - Not even low temperatures and broken promises by the municipality could stop Mandela informal settlement residents in Bekkersdal from making their mark on Wednesday morning.
The voting station in the area was packed as early as 6am and Mondli Sibanda, 30, said despite all the empty promises of service delivery over the years, he was hoping that this year change would come.

"By casting my vote today, I hope it is the end of corruption. I am confident that this will happen since the ANC has a new president," he said.

Sibanda has resided in the settlement for 10 years and was retrenched from a mining company in October last year. "The issues that we face here are jobs, water, electricity, houses - we stay in shacks. There are no roads, just gravel mud and rubbish everywhere. Generally life here is hard. Imagine raising children here. Something has to give," he said.

Nomfusi Khenene voted for the first time at the Mandela Informal Settlement, Bekkersdal, on Wednesday. - Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) -

Nineteen-year-old first time voter Nomfusi Khenene said she was extremely excited to have made her mark and it is the responsibility of every South African citizen to do so. "I'm honestly not at that stage in my life where I can complain about anything because I am not fending for myself. I do, however, sympathise with people who are less fortunate and would encourage them to use this opportunity as it only comes once every five years," said Khenene.

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