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Silent Winnie visits Bekkersdal

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iol news pic Winnie Vote

THE STAR

Winnie Madikizela Mandela casts her vote at Orlando West High school in Soweto. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Bekkersdal - ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela caused a stir when she visited a polling station in Bekkersdal, west of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.

People of all ages surrounded her as she walked the streets. Women ululated and chanted her name.

She waved and shook hands of some in the crowd before leaving. She did not speak to the media as she was still in mourning after he former husband Nelson Mandela died in December.

Queues were getting shorter at many of the voting stations as the day went on. At the Development Hub station, there were more party volunteers than voters by 2.30pm.

There was still a heavy police presence with police cars patrolling the streets while others were parked at the stations.

Bekkersdal has been the scene of several violent protests the past few months.

Democratic Alliance Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane, who also visited the township on Wednesday, urged voters not to stay away.

“We need more people to come out and vote,” he told reporters.

“We have to vote for change. We have one opportunity to bring change and we must use it.”

Maimane, dressed in a blue DA shirt and jeans, also spoke to children as he greeted party agents.

He said political parties had a duty to encourage as many people as possible to cast their votes.

“We have to urge South Africans to come out,” he said.

He said he was happy with how the Bekkersdal area was being managed following the burning of two voting tents on Tuesday.

All voting stations in the area were operational. - Sapa


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