Johannesburg – Snaking queues were the order of the day at Katlehong’s iconic African Methodist Episcopal Church as community members cast their votes in the country’s sixth democratic general elections.
The church was instrumental in sheltering community members during the heady political days of the early 1990s, when violence engulfed the township after the release of the country’s late statesman, Nelson Mandela.
Gogo Nthabi and Gogo Puleng, who are aged 85 and 86 respectively, said they had been voting since the first democratic elections in 1994 because they were denied that opportunity during the repressive apartheid years.
Party agents were also out in force outside the renowned church rallying voters to choose their organisations ahead of this crucial vote.
Boniswa Mvimbi, who is originally from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, said she was the eldest of four children, all of whom were unemployed.
"We are here to encourage people to vote for the DA because we want change. We can all see that jobs are scarce here in the township and people are unemployed," she said, adding that her and her siblings moved to in Katlehong since 2014.
Happy Nduda, an EFF member, said the party was going to end landlessness and unemployment should it govern. "The EFF is the only party talking about the return of land," Nduda contended.
#SAElections2019 Party agents have descended at the iconic African Methodist Epyscopal Church in Katlehong to monitor the voting process. @TheStar_news @ReporterStar @IOL. pic.twitter.com/Ey2WP8vMmw
— Khaya Sibulele Koko (@khayakoko88) May 8, 2019
The ANC gazebo was also a hive of activity, with party agents assisting people to check their names on the voter’s roll.
Meanwhile, the IEC warned of jail time for people who subvert its security features.
" The indelible ink is one of a number of security checks and safeguards built into the election process but the Commission wishes to remind all voters that any attempt to undermine the integrity of the election process – including attempting to remove the ink mark – constitutes electoral fraud and is punishable by up to 10 years in jail," the body cautioned.
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