A taste of things to come at the elections

A team of municipal workers was busy fixing the street lights. By the time they finished, so was the poll.

With the national elections now just weeks away, I was lucky enough to get a little taste of what’s to come thanks to the municipal by-election in our ward last week.

And if the hors d’oeuvre dished up by the different parties is anything to go by, I can’t wait for the main course.

Arriving at the polling station after work was like stepping into a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie. Picture it: Scene 1. 8.30pm. School Hall in Krugersdorp.

Firstly, I was completely taken aback by the number of people. The closest available parking space was about 100 metres from the entrance, and that with only 30 minutes to go before the polling station was supposed to close.

There were four candidates, each with a stall manned by their party faithful.

I have no intention of promoting any of the parties or their candidates, but it was quite hilarious to see the Economic Freedom Fighters and ANC stalls in complete darkness. The load shedding comments were priceless.

Why, I do not know, but a team of municipal workers was busy fixing the street lights. By the time they finished, so was the poll.

At least I was offered an ANC t-shirt, which I duly accepted.

In contrast, the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus rolled out the red carpet.

It was lights, camera, action all the way. All that was missing was a brass band. The orange FF Plus cap I was given clashed a bit with the yellow ANC shirt, but hey, if the politicians can behave like clowns, why can’t I?

Scene 2. Inside the hall.

Where is everybody? Turns out all the cars outside must belong to the party faithful and IEC workers, because there I was, the lone voter. I kid you not.

Stepping into the cubicle to draw my cross, I realised I left my glasses in my car. My eyesight is slightly worse than I care to admit and being colour blind doesn’t help.

But that did not deter me. I voted.

And on 8 May I will do so again. It should be easier, because the street lights will be working – if the power is on.

Danie Toerien

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