Patients escorted to voting stations

Patients made their way to their nearest voting stations in their hospital gowns yesterday before returning to hospital.

Patients of the Free State Department of Health were transported to voting polls by staff members yesterday.

According to the department’s spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, this was done through a so-called Planned Patient Transport Mechanism.

“These patients did not choose to be hospitalized and it is our patriotic duty as a health facility to ensure that we contribute to the growth and stability of our democracy by lending a hand where we can,” said Mvambi.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) held special votes for residents who had difficulty in casting their votes, either due to disability, infirmity or old age. However, only about 50% of the registrants actually cast their votes on Monday and Tuesday.

According to IEC communication’s officer, Mmathabo Rasengane, many registered voters were not available for home visits. “The special voting process went well even though the numbers were not as expected,” she said.

In Mangaung the turnout for special votes was below par, according to the spokesperson. “Mangaung stats are not final yet but out of the 20 000 who were expected to cast their votes, less than 10 000 turned up, which was quite a challenge for us,” explained Rasengane.

However, these voters were expected to make their way to voting stations on the official election day yesterday. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele