Government thanked South Africans and political parties for exercising tolerance during the 2014 general election. Photo: Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg - Voters rushed to polling stations in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, to beat the 9pm deadline on Wednesday.

They descended in numbers and braved the cold at the 12th Apostolic Church in Extension Three.

“We will vote... I am not bothered. They can't turn us away,” said Ntswakisi Baloyi, 32, who brought along a flask of coffee.

Church members on the premises continued with their routine and held a prayer service in the adjacent building.

“We hold a service every day. Tonight is not an exception,” priest David Maake said.

“Anyone is welcome to join us before or after they have voted.”

Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) staff members at the Diepsloot Combined School looked exhausted. They complained to the presiding officer about the quality of the food provided.