Vuwani protest leader arrested on Election Day eve

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.

“The 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)

Vuwani residents to boycott elections

 The Community of Vuwani, Limpopo, has vowed, not participate in the upcoming national and provincial elections. The residents are unhappy after the demarcations board moved over 30 villages to the Collins Chabane municipality, a decision they want reversed.

The Pro-Makhado task team’s Arnold Mulaudzi, has said“ if the government does not commit to approach the demarcation board then we are not going to participate in the elections’’.

The community is also calling on the Cooperative governance Dr Zweli Mkhize to come and address their demands .

Mulaudzi also said that the community’s decision not to vote in the elections had been taken by all purely out of choice. Police Minister Bheki Cele has vowed that no shutdown will prevent South Africans from exercising their voting right on the 8th of May.  – Makhado FM (edited by Siyabonga Motha)

Arnold Mulaudzi explaining why the community of Makhado will not vote.

(Edited by Simba Honde)