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By Dimakatso Modipa

97-year-old Nonkupesho Ledwaba walking with her aids for mobility accompany by her granddaughter Angel Ledwaba after being allegedly chased away by IEC officials photo by Dimakatso Modipa

The much-anticipated special voting day was delayed at various voting stations in Mamelodi this morning.

Some potential voters were allegedly turned away by IEC officials claiming they don’t appear on the system.

Voting stations across Mamelodi did not open at stipulated time and most of the voting stations started late because there were no IEC officials on site.

IEC officials allegedly arrived late at the voting stations.

Party agents waited for IEC officials to arrive before they can start.

Though IEC officials were at various voting stations early in the morning, no voting had taken place by 9am, which is the stipulated time for special voting to take place today and tomorrow.

The delay has been caused by the non-arrival of ballot papers and several people left the voting stations without casting their votes.

One potential voter who left without casting her vote this morning at Balebogeng Primary School in Mamelodi East told Tshwane Talks that the delay has left her with no choice but to leave without voting due to work commitments.

“I registered to cast a special vote today because this is the only time I have due to my busy schedule at work,” she said.

She added that she was not sure if she would have time to come and vote tomorrow ((Tuesday) or on Wednesday with the test of the voters.

Today and Tuesday are special voting dates designed to cater for people who will be on duty on Wednesday at places that are far away from their voting stations.

Happy voter Beauty Tshabalala cast her vote at Balebogeng primary school in Mamelodi east, Tshwane photo by Dimakatso Modipa

In most cases journalists, police officers, doctors and nurses are the ones who use special voting dates to cast their votes.

The ballot papers arrived only at around 10 am, which is an hour later than the stipulated time.

74-year-old pensioner Timothy Mohlala told Tshwane Talks that he is disappointed by the lack of punctuality displayed by the IEC.

He said he arrived at around 9.15 am and only got to vote at around 10.35 am.

He called on the IEC to be on time tomorrow for another day of special voting.

“People woke up very early in the morning and right now most of them are already hungry and tired due to the delay by the IEC to open voting stations on time,” said Mohlala as he pointed out that he is just voting for the sake of it, as there has never been any real changes in Mamelodi.

Another voter Beauty Tshabalala said she was thankful that she didn’t come to the voting station at the stipulated 9am opening time but arrived some minutes after 10 am and didn’t wait long before voting.

“I pity the old folks who came very early to the voting station and now have to turn away without voting because they are already hungry and tired,” she said.

However, Tshabala urged people to come and vote because failing to do so won’t help as it is only through voting that changes can happen.

Wilson Chiloane said he was confident that his vote will bring the much-needed change like keeping the country and its environment clean and hygienic.

He also urged people to go and vote as there is a constitution in this country which safeguards their rights as citizens.

97-year-old Nonkupesho Ledwaba was heartbroken because she was refused permission to vote, this as IEC records indicate that she was not registered as a special voter.

She said in January this year her granddaughter applied for her online to cast a special vote and did so again through the help of ANC officials who had visited her home twenty days ago.

“A few days ago, the ANC officials came again to my home and again my granddaughter applied for me, yet today I am being turned away because I was apparently not registered to take part in special voting,” she said.

Nonkupesho Ledwaba, who uses walking aids for mobility, was not even offered a chair by IEC officials and her granddaughter Angel Ledwaba had to find a chair for so that she could settle in.

Happy voter Wilson Chiloane after casting his vote in Balebogeng primary school in Mamelodi east, Tshwane photo by Dimakatso Modipa

And after being denied an opportunity to vote, Nonkupesho Ledwaba had to walk all the way back home, which is a bit far from the voting station considering that she can’t walk properly.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that wrong ballot papers were delivered at Bajabulile Primary School voting station in Mamelodi East Extension 4 and this caused a delay in voting.

But an IEC official went to the IEC offices to collect the correct ballot papers, thus making sure that voting proceeds.

Spokesperson and Chief Communication Officer at IEC (Electoral Commission of South Africa) · Kate Bapela said regarding Nonkupesho Ledwaba’s situation, the IEC responded by insisting that the station opened as early as 8.34 am this morning (Monday) and that no one was turned away.

“We only informed our voters that we will be assisting only the people that registered for special votes and that those who were not registered in this regard must come back on Wednesday to cast their votes,” read the statement.

“Our VMD are working perfectly, and everything is working fine at the station,” read the statement which didn’t refer to the late arrival of ballot papers at Balebogeng Primary School and the wrong ballot papers which were delivered at Bajabulile Primary School.

Balebogeng primary school a voting station in Mamelodi east, Tshwane that chased gogo Ledwaba away photo by Dimakatso Modipa

MK party agent reported the matter to the Region 6 Mamelodi election coordinator Alphuis Sealetsa and immediately rushed to see Gogo Ledwaba who was in pain after a long walk and her heart still broken about the incident.

He was accompanied by MKYL members Suprise Mokgothu and Howard Mabena.

“We meet gogo Ledwaba at her home and at first she was refusing to speak to us and was angry and did not want to take part in the voting process no more,” said Sealetsa.

“We comforted her and talked to her and told her about the important of voting and as MK party we promised to arrange a transport on Wednesday to pick her up at her home and to take her to vote at her voting station and we don’t mind which party she is voting as long as she cast her vote that is what is important to us,” he said.

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