ANC members in Port Elizabeth have tried to block the DA leader from entering the Walmer Town Hall, saying she must "obey the rule".
ANC volunteers and ward committee members in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape tried to stop Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille from entering the Walmer Town Hall voting station on Wednesday.
“Go outside, outside … you must obey the rule, it’s a rule ” Walmer ward three ANC committee member Fikiswa Madolwana shouted at Zille as the opposition party leader started walking towards the voting station.
Madolwana and another ANC volunteer stood in front of Zille, who was flanked by DA officials and bodyguards, and would not let them continue walking down the road in the plush Port Elizabeth suburb.
Zille had got out of her car and some DA officials had shouted: “Viva, DA, viva! Viva, Helen Zille, viva!” Madolwana then shouted to the group and journalists: “No campaigning inside, go outside!”
Deputy provincial chairperson for the DA, Bobby Stevenson, put up his hands shouting “Stop this, stop it!”
Another DA official told them: “Go back to school and learn … “
The DA group tried to walk around the ANC officials, who shouted: “Don’t push me, don’t push me!”
Zille did not say anything but looked surprised. She proceeded on to the hall where she greeted and took photos with voters.
Stevenson told the Mail & Guardian minutes later that the ANC is “confused about the rules”.
“The rules say that you are not allowed to campaign [on voting day] within the demarcated lines,” he said pointing to Independent Electoral Commission tape that surrounded the voters.
“The ANC is out of line and out of order. It is just trying to intimidate the DA. It likes to use hysterical tactics like this,” he said.
Provincial chairperson, Edmund van Vuuren, told the M&G that the ANC “did this” because it is “scared”. “The ANC is scared because the DA is making inroads in areas that traditionally support the ANC.”
The DA hoped it would double the number of seats it has on the provincial legislature from 6 to 12. “I think we will do well.”
Madolwana and two other volunteers sang and danced at their ANC table near the queue of voters. They told the M&G that the song meant: “This is our forefathers’ land, go back to Cape Town”.
Madolwana said the “rules” stated that campaigning by parties at voting stations needed to stop by midnight the night before voting begins.
“Police came here this morning and told us we must move out stuff but then the DA came later and put their stuff up and the police said ‘ja, you can put your stuff here it’s ok’,” she said. “But then the DA comes here now with it’s ‘Viva, viva!’.”
She said she didn’t mind “if Zille comes here but not with her ‘Viva, viva!’ … she mustn’t come here with her rock n’ roll”.