Sunday, April 19, 2009

Classic FM News broadcasts on voting abroad

On Wednesday the 15th of April 2009 I had the privilege of reporting for Classic FM from Trafalgar Square, where expat South Africans turned out in their droves to vote in the national elections. This was a significant moment, as the rights of those living temporarily outside of the country would have been severely compromised had they not been allowed to vote, as the Electoral Act then stipulated. Thankfully some public-minded citizens took it upon themselves to take the government to court over the matter and we were allowed to exercise our democratic

Classic FM News - SA Election Coverage - 11am - 15 April 2009.mp3 -

In the reports (two of which are embedded here) I paint a mental picture of the crowds snaking through the square as well as the process of voting. I was in and out in about an hour and fifteen minutes and although the logistics of the event were certainly challenging, this was clearly a bogus excuse not to conduct the overseas voting. It really wasn't that difficult to organise. Below is an image of an orderly and efficient bank of voting desks where officials would scratch out names of those on the voters roll:

I was very impressed by how well the whole process was managed, and I am very thankful to the IEC officials and everyone involved who helped make the process that much easier.

I held my nose and voted COPE, and my ballot paper is depicted below for those who may doubt my 'allegiances' - however flimsy they may be. I hesitated for a while before dropping the envelope into the box and as did so I said to the official, "I can't believe I just voted for those guys."

Something to note is that it is Terror Lekota and not Mvume Dandala, the Presidential Candidate, whose picture is on the sheet. I mean really. If in some alternate reality COPE actually won, do you think Terror would allow Dandala to become the national president? Somehow I don't think so. What then is the point of even having a presidential candidate I ask you, if his picture doesn't feature?

My friend Lexi's painted thumb proving she cast her vote:

I also took my video camera along and, time permitting, I will post some of the content on YouTube. Stay tuned for more on the elections as we build up to election day back home.

1 comment:

  1. You where so close all you had to do was vote one box down. I can't believe you voted for those guys.