Parties urge vigilance and participation

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iol news pic ballot papers AP FILE PHOTO: Schalk van Zuydam

Johannesburg - With South Africa's fifth democratic election since the fall of apartheid less than 24 hours away, political parties urged people on Tuesday to vote.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa called on parties and their agents to be extra vigilant.

“We have already heard reports about transgressions and other misdeeds of some party agents and officials of the 1/8Electoral Commission of SA 3/8,” he said in a statement.

“We must now, more than ever, be vigilant and have our party agents work as a collective to ensure that the election at each voting station is held to the highest standards.”

He said parties too had a responsibility to ensure that no doubts could be cast on the validity of the results and that the elections were indeed free and fair.

“It is in our interest to ensure that we safeguard our democracy by satisfying ourselves that each step in the voting process is monitored and that no untoward influence is exerted in any fashion,” he said.

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“Good luck to you all.”

The SA Communist Party said people should go out in their numbers to defend the national democratic revolution through voting for the ANC.

“Let us press on towards the achievement of a completely non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa in which there is a better life for all, by voting for the ANC,” spokesman Alex Mashilo said in a statement.

“Let us vote for the ANC for the sterling leadership role it has played in leading our liberation struggle and, together with its allies and millions of our people, defeating apartheid in a democratic breakthrough in 1994.”

The ruling African National Congress called on South Africans to go out in their numbers to cast their votes.

“These elections mark a consolidation of democracy after 20

years of uninterrupted and robust transition that has been characterised by tolerance, plurality of views and separation of state powers,” said spokesman Jackson Mthembu.

“This is an indication of the resolve by our people to take our transition forward with an expectation that our people from all walks of life will benefit from sustained democracy.”

He said the ANC hoped the majority of those registered to vote would do so, and those who had intended to not vote not disenfranchise themslves.

“We are convinced the ANC will be returned to the helm of government with 1/8a 3/8 overwhelming majority as a result of our hard work throughout the country,” he said.

“We remain committed in advancing democracy, improving the quality of life of our people and in ensuring that people are at the centre of our governance.”

The Democratic Alliance was confident it would increase its majority in the Western Cape, stating it was a party of values, and not colour.

Leader Helen Zille was joined by Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko in Mitchells Plain Ä the province's biggest coloured township.

“We are not white, we are blue,” Zille assured supporters she addressed on an open field in the area.

“We don't look at colour. We look at values.”

Her comments were followed by songs echoing her sentiments.

Mazibuko said: “The DA has worked very hard. It's the biggest election campaign we've ever mounted and we've been travelling around the country non-stop since the beginning of February.

“We're going to maintain the Western Cape and we're going get it with an increased majority.”


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