KwaBhaca resident, 119, makes her mark and wants you to do the same

Nomamelika Emily Philiso, 119, of Mandleni villlage casts her vote at her home. She is assisted by IEC presiding officer Phumza Qangani and her deputy Busisiwe Tshalana.
Nomamelika Emily Philiso, 119, of Mandleni villlage casts her vote at her home. She is assisted by IEC presiding officer Phumza Qangani and her deputy Busisiwe Tshalana.
Image: LULAMILE FENI

A KwaBhaca resident, 119-year-old Nomamelika Emily Philiso, is believed to be one of the oldest people to vote in the local government elections, and despite being frail, she showed excitement about voting and lashed out at those refusing to vote.

Casting her vote at her Mandleni village home in Qwidlela, about 40km outside KwaBhaca on Saturday, Philiso told the Dispatch she had prayed for this day.

“God answered my prayer. I am still alive and casting my vote, something I have been doing since 1994 and I am very happy.

“My daughter and I woke up as early as 4am on Saturday. We made a fire and bath and waited for the Electoral Commission (IEC) officials to arrive. I could not wait to cast my vote,” she said. 

Philiso, who lives with her daughter Ntombekhaya Mbendu, said all she wanted was an RDP house and called for President Cyril Ramaphosa and premier Eastern Cape Oscar Mabuyane to speed-up the building of the house “before I die”.

“I don’t know how much time I still have to live, but I hope I will not die before the president and premier build this house.

“Nobody has promised me a house, but I know if God allows, I will definitely get it.”

Philiso was angered by promises from councillors who disregard voters after elections.

“But for me voting is a constitutional right that I would not let anyone take away. 

“A vote is a constitutional right that Nelson Mandela and others fought for. Why would  you let circumstances or individuals deprive you of that right?” she said.

She said voting and accountability was important.

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