8 May 2019

South Africa: Newsflash - Minor Protests Delay Opening of Polling Stations

Photo: allafrica.com
Left: Service delivery protest. RIght: Voter's thumb marked after casting a ballot.
analysis

The day of what has been called the most important election in South African history post-1994 has finally arrived. Millions of South Africans have gone out to vote. However, in some provinces there has been some unrest, leading to disruptions in voting.

Speaking at the National Results Operation Centre in Pretoria, the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) Chief Electoral Office, Sy Mamabolo, told media that "election day got underway to a very positive start today".

This as thousands of South Africans headed to polls to go make their mark, despite inclement weather reported in parts of the country; including parts of the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Free State.

Mamabolo said despite minor mishaps, the process had been quite smooth.

"As always there were some challenges reported including instances where election staff failed to report on time for duty, and where materials were delivered late," said Mamabolo.

The IEC said 10% of the 22,924 voting stations were not open by the 7am starting time. By 11.30am 17 voting stations remained unopened, 14 of these were on the southern coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

Protest action, which saw protesters dig trenches outside voting stations during the early hours of the morning, prevent...

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