Vuwani polls go smoothly despite fears
Fears that voting would not take place in Vuwani, one of the hotspots of violence in Limpopo, were quashed when scores of people turned up to cast their ballots in the troubled area in Venda yesterday.
As early as 7am when polling stations opened, locals could be seen walking towards schools eager to vote. This in spite of earlier calls by the Pro-Makhado Task Team for a boycott of the polls
Police kept a strong presence in the area as tension heightened after the arrest of a man believed to be deputy chairperson of the Pro-Makhado Task Team, Arnold Mulaudzi.
Transport and community safety MEC Makoma Makhurupetje said she visited several voting stations and was happy to see people exercising their democratic right.
Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo did not want to say whether the arrested person was indeed Mulaudzi, saying the suspect could not be identified until he appeared in court.
The threat of boycotting the election did not deter Vuwani elders like Munzhedzi Mbedzi, 84. Using her crutches, she trudged on to a polling station at Ratshikwekwete Secondary School in Tshitungulwane.
She injured her right leg after falling ahead of Easter holidays. When special voting for people with special needs like her took place on Monday and Tuesday, Mbedzi was away for medical attention.
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"I had gone to Tshilidzini Hospital for my check-up on Saturday. I then decided to stay at one of my relatives' home. I only came back yesterday (Tuesday) hoping to vote [as a special needs voter]. But due to the shutdown, I could not vote," she said.
She woke up early in the morning to prepare for her arduous walk to the voting station. With issues around basic service delivery such as water and housing prevalent in the area, she said she was hoping for a change.
"I have been voting for as long as I can remember, and I am tired of living in unbearable conditions. Some of my rondavels collapsed as the years progressed. I then managed to build some rooms in my yard," Mbedzi said.
"I want the government to build a house for me because I currently live in a dilapidated one. Having a toilet in my yard would also be helpful because of the current state I'm in. - Mukurukuru Media
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