President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, on Sunday threatened to hold Independent Electoral Commission South Africa (IEC) officials to ransom after the registration papers at the center ran out around 4:30 pm.
This setback led to the dismissal of Nkandla residents who filed out to have their names registered.
But, the officials reaction did not go down well with Edward Zuma. He immediately threatened to lock them up until registration papers are provided.
Zuma said “The supervisor told about 50 people that the forms had run out and that they would be informed of another date to come back and register.”
“We will lock the IEC officials inside the school until they bring the papers. We are not going to let them out,” he said.
He however said that there is something fishy about the drama and lamented that such move speaks bad about democracy in the state.
“This is embarrassing, this is where the president votes. We are being played here. This is bad for democracy. We will not leave this centre until they bring the papers.”
Responding un behalf of IEC, KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Thabani Ngwira stated that eligible citizens who arrived the centre before 5:00pm were not allowed to be turned away.
He also condemned the threats made on IEC SA officials and said “They cannot threaten officials, we have the police on standby and if they threaten our staff, we will send the police.”
Ngwira however promised to ensure that people who arrived the centre before 5:00pm receive assistance. “We will bring the papers, people who were in the centre before 17:00 must wait they will be assisted,” Ngwira said.
The president and his wife Tobeka Madiba-Zuma had earlier registered to vote at the same venue – the Ntolwane Primary School in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday. They were seen with their 8 year-old daughter, Nqobile.
Shortly after checking for his name on the IEC voters’ roll, President Jacob Zuma said his vote was not a secret because he votes for the ANC and that “even if I showed you all before casting my ballot, it does not matter. This is all just a formality”.
“I’ve checked and I am happy. I would suggest that all citizens do the same and not take it for granted that their names are there.
“It’s always good to check and be certain so that on the day of voting they don’t get surprised.”
“You need to make sure that the person you vote for is the person you want, that’s why these elections are crucial.,” President Zuma said.
Nkandla residents sang the praises of President Jacob Zuma, saying they would “remain loyal to him no matter what”.
“We are part of the Msholozi branch and we are encouraging all the residents to come out and register to vote for Msholozi. We are expecting more than 2 000 people to come out and register so that we can take over [from] the Inkatha Freedom Party, said one Sibongiseni Bhengu.
The IFP won Nkandla in the 2011 local government elections.