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HEADLINE NEWS
  • IEC expects to release election results by Sunday
  • The first result of the 2024 elections has been released from the Bizana Baptist Church in the Eastern Cape
  • With 20 voting districts declared, the ANC still tops the list of votes on the national ballot
  • Gauteng Police say 16 elections-related arrests have been made since the poll date proclamation
  • Counting of ballots continues, albeit slowly, as only 0.57% of Voting Districts have been declared (133 out of 23 293)
  • The majority of voting stations closed late last night due to long queues: IEC
Public safety, police visibility top priorities as SA votes

Public safety, police visibility top priorities as SA votes

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Top police brass across the country have once again reassured citizens that safety will be a top priority as millions of South Africans cast their votes today.

KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner, Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, says he’s confident that the people of the province will exercise their right to vote responsibly.

17 000 police officers have been deployed to hotspots across the province.

Polling stations nationwide opened at 07:00 and will close at 21:00.

Addressing the media in Durban, Mkhwanazi explained how police identified high risk areas.

“It is informed by protests that normally happen in that area (due to) the intolerance that we have observed between political parties contesting in that specific ward…so that’s what makes us to be on high alert. In such instances, it is all about the political instability that exists in that area. The people of this province are going to prove to South Africans that they are disciplined, and they can have free and fair elections and they respect the law. So, I think this is the time they can show it to the country, how good they are. They are going to go out there and vote, but they are going to do that in a disciplined manner.”

Mpumalanga

In Mpumalanga, the Provincial Police Commissioner, Semakaleng Manamela, has again reassured voters and Electoral Commission (IEC) officials that law enforcement officers, including the police, are on the ground to protect them.

Manamela says they take the safety of all South Africans seriously.

At least three separate incidents involving members of some political parties and the IEC officials have been reported in Acornhoek, Elukwatini and Hendrina since the beginning of the week.

Manamela has assured citizens that adequate officers have been deployed to ensure law and order.

Ekurhuleni 

In Gauteng, the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) says its officers will maintain law and order during voting.

Spokesperson, Thabiso Makgatho says there will be rapid deployment to polling stations in the event of disruptions.

“We urge the members of the community to refrain from any violence, threats or disturbances. Furthermore, we give a stern warning that any form of lawlessness will not be tolerated. Citizens have the responsibility to exercise their rights within the constitution, without infringing or violating the rights of others. As the Ekurhuleni Metro Police, we will be fully operational in conjunction with other law enforcement to ensure that the South African citizens go and exercise their constitutional right to vote. We hope the elections will run smoothly and peacefully.”

George

In George in the Western Cape, police came out in the numbers in the early hours of the morning to accompany IEC officials to voting stations.

More details of police presence in George in the report below:

-Report by Minoshni Pillay and Nontlantla Mokati

Mahikeng elderly unable to cast special votes due to ID issue

Mahikeng elderly unable to cast special votes due to ID issue

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Senior citizens at Lapa la Botlhe Age Care Centre in Mahikeng, North West, have not been able to cast their special votes after the centre failed to meet the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) deadline for applications.

The centre’s representative Susan Kereeditse says one of the challenges was that they only have copies of the IDs of the elderly, while by law, people can only vote with their original IDs.

The IEC is holding special votes on Monday and Tuesday.

Malema criticises Eastern Cape govt for neglecting rural communities

Malema criticises Eastern Cape govt for neglecting rural communities

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Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema took his election campaign to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, where he slammed the provincial government for failing to provide basic services to impoverished communities in the rural areas.

Malema also met with the controversial abaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.

The EFF leader was welcomed with chanting.  He says the EFF was the solution to a number of challenges facing South Africa.

“We need to create jobs, road infrastructure must be in good condition, the supply of water and electricity must be reliable, they will never be a village here at O R Tambo without a shopping mall or a shopping complex if there is a proper road – no one want to invest in an area that is not accessible, and you have to build industries and open those industries you will never get jobs.”

Malema says under an EFF government, mud schools and pit latrines will be eradicated.

“There are mud schools here in the Eastern Cape, there are no toilets, and learners use bushes to relieve themselves. That cannot be correct, under the EFF we will make sure that learners’ safety is priorised, we will make sure that learners have a full mill, we will make sure that the quality of education is improved and no one will pay school fees and uniform will be provided.”

The people attending the meeting say that there were a lot of problems that needed to be solved.

One supporter says, “We have a problem of stock theft, we have no jobs, the standard of education here is poor so we want the eff to attend to all those things under its rule.”

Another laments, “We have no jobs, we have many problems and we hope that this party will deal with those challenges because eff is mainly young people our children, so we are hopeful and maybe things will change.”

The abaThembu King, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, accompanied the EFF leader, endorsing him.

King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo says, “In Julius, we have a capable leader, we want him to take power, forward with Malema! Forward! No one else can lead this country except Julius Malema.”

Malema is set to also take his two-day campaign to the western half of the province, finishing in Gqeberha.

Azapo reaffirms land restoration as central to its politics

Azapo reaffirms land restoration as central to its politics

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Azapo maintains that its politics still revolve around land and returning it to its rightful owners. This weekend the liberation party took its elections campaign to Galeshewe Township and interacted with some residents during their door-to-door campaign.

Galeshewe residents, who interacted with the president of Azapo, say they can only consider voting for the party if it has plans in getting them jobs, in curbing crime, and dealing with drug abuse, among the youth. Some say they can still be persuaded to consider the party at the polls.

Kimberley resident Neville Mokgobo says, “So Azapo is suitable to lead us in the sense, but we will need assistance from the broader African diaspora to make this a success. I think we are on a narrow path if we want Azapo to be in the driving seat of things it might be there we might need to assist it.”

Kimberley resident, Dimakatso Jochum says, “I would like to vote for Azapo so that Azapo can bring a better future for our children. There’s high unemployment and also there are drugs that are all over our country. Please can it just cut it so that we can see our children going because it’s not like they don’t have talent, they do have, they can do better.”

Azapo leader Nelvis Qekema says the party wants to grow the economy, which is currently sluggish and not creating enough jobs.

“We want to restore the humanity and dignity of the people and the best way to do it is to grow the economy and develop the economy such that the economy is able to absorb the unemployed people that are jobless people so that people are able you know to contribute for their own lives and find.”

With over a thousand active members in the province, the party hopes to have recruited more supporters in time for the elections. They are also hoping to return to Parliament after the May elections. -Reporting by Omphemetse Balatseng

ActionSA hopeful for IEC probe conclusion on ANC’s debt before polls

ActionSA hopeful for IEC probe conclusion on ANC’s debt before polls

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Action SA national Chairperson Michael Beaumont says they hope the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) investigation into the African National Congress’s (ANC) R102 million debt settlement will be completed before the 29 May elections.

The IEC on Tuesday confirmed it will concede to the party’s request to investigate how the ANC settled its debt with Ezulweni Investments, in terms of the Political Party Funding Act.

Beaumont says this would assist South Africans in understanding how the debt was settled and whether it was settled lawfully.

He says, “The Act prescribes penalties for any political party that falls outside of its ambit including fines and imprisonment apart from any registered in cases of extreme violations. We may also be looking for violations that fall outside of the Party Funding Act that may be criminal in nature.”

“We’ve learned that Ezulweni Investments is a registered service provider to the state and has received tenders in the past and if it is the case that this debt settlement agreement anyway involves the promise of future state contracts, that would also be unlawful in terms of many other acts that governing the country.”

Full interview with Beaumont: