Voting continues after a halt at voting station in Thokoza, police on high alert



Published May 29, 2024


Chaos broke out outside the Fire Station voting district ward 52 in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, on Wednesday night.

By the 9pm cut-off time, scores of angry voters had not cast their votes and they expressed fear of being deprived of exercising their right.

Some women were even in the company of their small children.

Doors to the Fire Station voting district were closed and the people started shouting “sifuna ukuvota” (loosely translated as “we want to vote“). They banged on the windows as more police were deployed in the area.

Hungry and eager to vote, a would-be voter accused the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) of sabotage.

“What should we do now, do they want us to kill each other? This was a deliberate action, they want us to lose interest and not vote so that our votes can go to the ANC. We are tired of the ANC,” said the angry voter.

An uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) member called the delay an act of sabotage. He highlighted that earlier on Wednesday, the IEC had noted that it was supposed to have a second option to prevent such a situation but ignored the signs.

“We want to tell the IEC that no matter what happens, no one will leave the vicinity without casting their vote. If necessary, people are going to vote until the morning,” said the MKP member.

EFF convener at the Fire Station voting district, Nicholas Hlophe, earlier in the day while speaking to The Star warned that if technical glitches continued the situation would get volatile, and indeed by 9pm hundreds of people had not voted and some had pushed each other.

“There is little movement. What is surprising is that we are seeing more reinforcement deployed on the ground. Everyone knows that the IEC is the agent of the ANC – this act was done deliberately so that they can collapse this voting process of today. People are resisting to leave,” said Hlophe.

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Tommy Mthombeni, speaking to The Star at the IEC Provincial Results Centre, said that they are aware that there are long queues and it is darker outside and said more police (SAPS and metro) have been deployed to voting stations to ensure that people are safe.

Earlier, The Star reported that there was chaos outside the Fire Station voting district, with Mthombeni confirming that more officers had been deployed.

“We have taken care of the situation in the Fire Station. We have linked up with the provincial electoral officer to reflect that the issues of lighting are addressed, lighting is a problem,” said Mthombeni.

The Star