National 3.8.2016 10:08 am

Nkandla voting station busy ahead of presidential vote

IFP and ANC members could be seen erecting tents outside the school.

Ntolwane Primary School in rural Nkandla was a hive of activity as the 2016 local government elections kicked off on Wednesday, with President Jacob Zuma expected to cast his vote at the school at about 10am.

The first person to cast his vote was out of the polling booth shortly before 7.15am.

Both IFP and ANC members could be seen erecting tents outside the school.

Various vehicles decked out in the colours of the two parties could be seen coming and going as they dropped off supporters to vote. Signs of any other parties were conspicuously absent.

Sibongiseni Bhengu, the sitting ward councillor, was confident he would be re-elected. “The number of voters here has increased. Our votes will increase. I am sure we will do well.”

At the last election the ANC took control of the municipality when it entered into a coalition with the National Freedom Party. But after a few by-elections, the IFP wrested control back, leaving Bhengu on the opposition benches in the Nkandla local council.

One person who said she would cast her vote the way of the ANC was ‎Sthandiwe Hlongwane.

Hlongwane made headlines at the last national elections in 2014 after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema built her a house ‎barely 500 metres from Zuma’s controversial residence. “I am voting ANC,” she said.

She said that she still had problems with the house built by the EFF amid much publicity.

A neighbour in an ANC T-shirt, who did not want to be named, claimed that President Zuma’s son, Edward, had promised Hlongwane he would attend to the house. Edward was not immediately available for comment.

At the school itself, television crews made live crossings to their studios as voters queued to cast their votes.

The only beings uninterested in the events of the day was a family of geese that waddled their way through the school grounds.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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