Limpopo – Police have arrested Arnold Mulaudzi, the man at the forefront of the Vuwani protests that forced the temporary closure of four voting stations today.

The leader of the Pro-Makhado Task Team was arrested last night, a few hours before over 26 million South Africans went to the polls today. He is due to appear in court on Friday, May 10.

Mulaudzi was arrested after he allegedly disrupted officials from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), as they finalized special voting on Tuesday.

In a media briefing from the National Results Operating Center in Pretoria, the IEC announced that four polling stations in Vuwani had to shut down briefly during the day, due safety concerns related to ongoing protests. By 17h00, the stations had re-opened.

β€œThe Electoral Commission is saddened by the lack of respect for democracy and the rights of others in these limited areas and once again calls on these communities to put the national interests of the country above the narrow interests of the community at least for today,” said Masego Sheburi, Deputy Electoral Officer of the IEC.      

Vuwani has experienced intense political tension over the past two weeks; with members of the Pro Makhado Task Team adamant about their stance for an election boycott and a total shut down during voting day.

Tensions in Vuwani erupted after residents raised concern over the demarcation of their municipality. They rejected a 2016 decision to move Vuwani from Makhado municipality to the newly constituted Collins Chabane municipality.

Police continue to keep a close eye on the area which has been classified as one of the 79 election hot spots across the country. – Makhado FM, Limpopo (Edited by Philile Masango)