National 3.8.2016 09:34 am

‘Arson’ won’t deter Freedom Park voters

Residents of Freedom Park vote at a newly erected IEC tent.  Photo: Supplied

Residents of Freedom Park vote at a newly erected IEC tent. Photo: Supplied

A case of arson is being investigated by police after a voting tent was allegedly set on fire by angry residents.

After a protest over power cuts where two IEC tents were torched, Freedom Park residents, south of Johannesburg, queued at a newly erected tent to vote on Wednesday.

The voting station’s presiding officer who called himself Sifiso said residents had started queuing by 6am.

“Everything is going well despite this very cold weather. We opened on time at 7am and already found voters waiting,” he said.

Remains of one of the burnt structures lay opposite the new voting tent. Angry residents had on Tuesday set two tented IEC structures on fire after power went off in the area. A case of arson was being investigated by the police.

Resident David Mbonambi, 45, said those who burnt the tents thought they could deter voting but were wrong. He said he arrived before 7am to vote.

“Power cuts have nothing to do with voting. I thank God that they did not not burn down a school. I am here and happy to wait for my turn to vote,” he said.

Elderly Martha Kgadima brought a chair to sit on while she waited for her turn.

“Voting day makes me happy every time. Young people need to wake up, brave the cold weather and come out to vote. I told my grandchild to come and vote. It is every citizen’s responsibility.”

A few blocks away in Denver, voters stood in the bitter cold at Banner of Truth Ministries church to vote.

A police officer on duty said he arrived at 4am and found people already queuing to vote.

African News Agency (ANA)

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