Political big guns out to woo voters

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The ANC and IFP rolled out the big guns at the weekend to encourage their supporters to register to vote.

ANC president Jacob Zuma and IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi were both in KwaZulu-Natal to encourage their supporters to register.

The Zulu leaders-turned-political rivals visited separate voting stations in the province in their last ditch effort to woo their supporters.

Zuma chose familiar ground - his rural village in Nkandla - encouraging people to take part in the forthcoming elections. Buthelezi's focus on Saturday was on eThekwini's biggest townships - KwaMashu and Umlazi.

At Umlazi's Q section polling station there was concern when officials were met by posters threatening the life of an IEC presiding officer when they opened the polling station.

Speaking at Nkandla where he registered to vote, Zuma said he hoped the IFP would restrain its supporters when the ruling party returns to Nongoma to campaign, following an attack on ANC members by the IFP in the area last week.

Zuma said the Nongoma incident took the IFP by surprise.

"The party should act cautiously to guide its supporters," he said.

Buthelezi urged people to be politically tolerant. He said he had decided to encourage people to vote to ensure that there was no voter apathy.

"There were 11million eligible voters who did not vote during the last elections. We want to make sure that they all register to vote," he said.

Provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said the weekend voter registration drive in KwaZulu-Natal went smoothly.