Police Minister Bheki Cele casts his ballot. Picture: Sihle Mlambo
Police Minister Bheki Cele casts his ballot. Picture: Sihle Mlambo

#Elections2019: Bheki Cele casts vote in Lamontville

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published May 8, 2019

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Durban - A councilor's office was torched in Illovo, south of Durban, Police Minister Bheki Cele said on election day.

The office was torched during apparent protests and voting in that area has not been affected.

“We have had no reports of torched voting stations. The one that may be mistaken is the office of the councilor at Ward 109, but the station is there and people are voting. The second one people have been talking about is the blockage of the N2 near KwaMakhutha, that has been open too,” he said.

Cele said they condemned the burning of public facilities and said cars were again able to travel freely on the N2.

In Umlazi on Tuesday night, protesters blocked roads and burnt tyres and logs when a number of areas lost power.

“Queues were quite long as we started at Umlazi today. I am quite impressed by the efficiency of the IEC (Electoral Commission of South Africa), and how quickly the queues were brought down,” he said.

Cele said he had been briefed by provincial top cops about the situation in Umlazi and said the police managed to clear the area after midnight.

“Things this morning were a complete smooth sailing and Umlazi has the longest queues, which means that the voting mentality of people has not been affected. Not a single station I found in Umlazi had short queues,” he said.

Video: Sihle Mlambo
Video: Sihle Mlambo
Video: Sihle Mlambo

Cele returned to his hometown of Lamontville to cast his vote at the very centre where he was first arrested in 1982. He said it was always good to come back home.

As he joined the queue on his way to cast his vote with his worn ID document, the IEC official teased him and said his identity document was so worn out it would not be able to scan.

In the queue with Cele were largely senior citizens. The old people came out in their numbers to vote.

One of them was 83-year-old ‪Patience Nciweni, who came out early to vote so she could go home, eat and rest.

“The queues were not long, I have voted for my party the ANC. Even though they have struggles, I am with them always,” said Nciweni, who said she was a regular voter.

Outside the voting station, the ANC, BLF and EFF had set up their tents in a bid to woo voters.

Independent on Saturday

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