27 May 2011

The lion and the missing voter

Spotting a runaway lion from her veranda was how election day started for Susan Erasmus. And it got even weirder as the day continued.

Spotting a runaway lion from her stoep was how election day started for Susan Erasmus. And it got weirder as the day continued.

I didn't vote, because I was in the middle of the Kalahari on holiday. I have always loved deserts. Much more than municipal elections. In my defense I have to say I did find out whether it was possible to bring out a postal vote, but it wasn't. So I decided that for once my country would have to do without me on this day. I was sure they would somehow manage, and they did.

On the way to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, we saw evidence of election battles in towns such as Klawer, Calvinia, Brandvlei and Kenhardt. The first indication that a town was looming in the distance was the election posters. And after 140km of nothing but sand, stones, saltpans, sheep, and more stones, these provided a very welcome diversion.

Congratulations to Cope's James Gabriel Styles who ended up taking the election in Kenhardt and the ANC's Frik Sterkse who now presides over the dusty town of Brandvlei. Nice pics, guys. You have no idea how happy we were to see them on the dead straight R27. And then of course the delightful poster opposite the graveyard with the slogan: "Salvation starts here". Yeah, right.

OK, back to the lion. Our holiday was planned at short notice, so we had to grab whatever accommodation we could find. It ranged from grand to VERY basic (bring your own drinking water and check your shoes for scorpions in the morning. Do not feed the hyenas).

It is to this same office we return later in the day to find out what the outcome was. It is only then that we see that this small building, which already houses a reception office, a wildlife information centre, a border post, and a police station, is also a polling station with IEC official firmly ensconced bib and all.


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2013-02-09 07:27



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