Nkandla - A fluey former president Jacob Zuma, accompanied by three of his wives, Thobeka KaMadiba Zuma, Bongekile MaNgema Zuma and Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma, cast his vote on Wednesday morning in Nkandla and says he expects the big parties to lead the charge.
Emerging from his security detail convoy at Ntolwane Primary School, in the KwaNxamalala village of Nkandla, Zuma was greeted with chants of "Zuma! Zuma! Zuma!" as he waved at and greeted the crowd, mostly clad in ANC regalia.
Zuma arrived shortly after 10am and opted to wait in the queue alongside his wives to cast his vote.
He entered the voting booth first and was then followed by his wives.
Before addressing the media he said that he was battling the flu, but also declared that his vote was no secret and that he had voted for the ANC.
"If my voice blocks at some point, don't worry it's not me, it's nature."
"In the months leading to this day there's been a lot of activities happening in the country, many have been describing this day as one of the most important days in the history of our democracy in that the voting this time seems to be a big business in many parties," Zuma says.
He said that the record number of parties on the national ballot paper was an indication of democracy in action.
"I am very happy that I've cast my vote in my station and I am confident that things will go the way everybody expects them to go, big parties will be in front, small ones will follow as it has been always. It's a question of what is the distance between them," says Zuma.
He said that he was pleased that there had been no major incidents during the campaigning period and that this showed that people were beginning to understand what democracy was about, "that it's not war, it is democracy, competing to see which party leads".
"It also tests the voters, whether they vote because they understand the policies and programmes of the parties or they just vote because 'my friend is there'.
"The vote is very important because you must put your vote where you know there will be something happening, benefits as well as the improvement of the country, not just because people are shouting better slogans but which party says it will deliver a better South Africa better than others," says Zuma.
In his assessment of the build-up to election day, he says that he felt that political parties were not sticking to their policies to tell the people what they would do for them "in a serious sense except sloganeering".
"I'm hoping that our education to democracy is indeed getting better and I must also say that you guys (the media) when you were talking to the parties you were not asking them on issues very directly. You were just wanting them to tell you, but next time you will also improve," Zuma says.
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