Tucked under a warm blanket and clad in a t-shirt emblazoned with the smiling face of former President Nelson Mandela‚ Maria Barti‚ 105‚ was among hundreds of people who cast their special votes on Monday.
Special votes‚ for registered voters who are unable to make it to their assigned polling station on Wednesday‚ were cast mainly by the elderly and infirm.
While several political party agents scrambled for Barti’s vote‚ the centenarian from Bhoboyi near Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast said all she wanted to do was vote for Mandela.
The gogo who was in bed in her modest home cast her vote thanks to a special visit from IEC officials‚ was asked if she was too ill to vote. “No‚ I want to vote for Mandela‚” she insisted.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala gave Barti a new t-shirt with a picture of President Jacob Zuma’s face on it.
Zikalala said he was excited that old people were still interested in voting.
“It’s quite exciting to see our senior citizens voting and taking a keen interest in voting. This should be encouraging for the younger people who often say they will not vote when a 105-year-old still gets excited by exercising her right‚” he said.