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South Africa - report

Mandela votes early in SA local polls

Reuters/Elmond Jiyane
Text by: Jean-Jacques Cornish
1 min

South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela has voted at his Johannesburg home in the country’s third democratic local elections. He was one of 239,000 people permitted to cast their ballot ahead of Wednesday’s poll for reasons of ill health.

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Mandela’s successor Thabo Mbeki also cast an early ballot because he will be abroad when on Wednesday.

Mandela, who is 92, was hospitalised in January with acute respiratory failure and he has not been seen in public since then.

Independent Electoral Commission chairperson Brigalia Bam, who was at Mandela’s home when he voted, said the anti-apartheid hero politely declined all help from the electoral officer.

After voting at a polling station, Mbeki urged his compatriots to turn out and give their representatives strong mandates.

The ANC is expected to sweep the board in the elections.

However, the opposition Democratic Alliance expects to cash in on frustration at the ruling party’s inadequate supply of housing, water and electricy.

Chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula said special voting went well despite what she called minor glitches.

This included three protest marches at stations in the north, centre and east of the country.

People use elections to highlight their grievances, but this won’t be tolerated on Wednesday, Tlakula said.

Results of the election are expected on Saturday.
 

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