Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officers deployed to several voting stations in Vuwani township had to employ the patience of Job after residents of the community silently boycotted the election.
Residents of the protest-hit town balled elections up in the community when they took to the field to play football, dance and play loud music instead of marching down to polling stations.
“…The point is that my community will not vote. They are boycotting the elections in a peaceful manner.
They will instead be focusing on sports the whole day. We still stand by our word, and we will not vote until our demands are met. We don’t want to fall under the Malamulele Municipality,” Sambo boasted.
Dancing residents waved and smiled at a police helicopter patrolling the area. A convoy of army vehicles also offered help by clearing rocks piled up by residents on roads that lead to voting stations.
IEC staffers were sighted shutting down the day’s business earlier than the official voting cut-off time of 7pm with completely sealed and unused ballot papers after Vuwani voters failed to show up in two stations in Vyeboom.
Staffers deployed to Avhatondi primary school, Vyeboom, sat all day with no voters in sight – an act that entails voters deliberately stayed away from the polling station.
Speaking to media at Vyeboom, west of the Vuwani township, Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen called on residents of to exercise their democratic right to elect leaders of their choice and not be scared by municipal demarcation.