“I voted for the first time [and] experienced how Mandela felt the first time he cast his vote,” Sabelo Kumalo (a first time voter) tweeted us yesterday. “How fantastic to see the rich diversity of South Africans coming together to vote,” continued Jacques Pretorius – another one of our followers on Twitter. We sent out a call for you to share your election day with us and you answered! People from every walk of life in South Africa sent through their tweets and had their say about the day’s proceeding and, trust me, they had plenty to say.
The general mood of the day was one of nostalgia and quiet reflection. Most people were reflecting on our twenty years of democracy while others – like the born-frees – felt a sense of pride in casting their vote for the first time. This isn’t to say that everything went smoothly. Some of our followers complained about security issues – in particular that some ballots were allegedly not in sealed ballot boxes and were left unattended outside ballot boxes . “I think the security as to each South African vote is poor. An eight year old kid could get to the contents inside the box,” tweeted Luther Smith. “Why are these ballots not in a sealed box?” questioned Jacques Pretorious.
Bittersweet though it may be, this was the whole point of VIP:Voice – to make sure that you got to have a say on election day. Whether you were commending the work of IEC officials or bemoaning the guy who was taking a selfie at the voting booth, the fact is you made sure this election was transparent and fair.
But just because election day has passed, it doesn’t mean we’re going to put you on mute. No way! You can still connect with more than 56 000 + South Africans and keep in the know about election-related stories. We still need your help! So keep in touch. Tell us what you think of the election results and share your views about the future of our democracy.
So if you took part in yesterday’s election; give yourself a pat on the back and remember these wise words from one of our followers (Rhea Morar): “The election seems to be violence-free. It speaks volumes to the world and ought to make us all proud”. Truer words could not be spoken.