/ 6 May 2019

Arch Tutu one of the first to cast special vote

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu cast his special vote at his Milnerton home in Cape Town on Monday morning. (David Harrison/M&G)

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has voted in his 6th democratic South African election.

The anti-apartheid stalwart, and Nobel Peace Prize winner cast his special vote at his Milnerton home in Cape Town on Monday morning.

Tutu and his wife Leah are just two of over 770 000 special voters who will vote over the course of Monday and Tuesday.

The rest of eligible voters will make their make in the National and Provincial elections on May 8.

Tutu, who now lives at a Hermanus retirement home, is rarely seen out at public engagements and only comes to his Milnerton home on special occasions.

While fine now, his health over recent months has also been poor.

Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) officials, joined by a Democratic Alliance (DA) party agent and the local ward councillor, visited the Tutu’s at their home.

Afterward voting privately inside his house Tutu walked the delegation down his driveway saying: “Thank you for coming.”

Asked by journalists how he felt voting again, he laughed and said, “God bless you!”

The 87-year-old was then escorted into his home by his aides.

Outside, IEC officials spoke to journalists about the special vote process.

Allan Du Plooy, IEC area manager said the archbishop and his wife were expected to cast their ballot at nearby Milnerton high school, but the IEC had decided to come to him.

“The arch was very jovial. He and Mama Leader welcomed us into his house. They were expecting to go to the school. But they were pleasantly surprised the we decided to come to them this morning,”

Du Plooy says after being given some privacy to make his cross on the ballot paper the Arch was his characteristic self, laughing and joking as he put his ballot paper into an envelope and then into a sealed box by an IEC worker.

“He’s the same Arch that we still know. Very jovial. He joked, ‘What must I do with this paper?’ And then he put it back in the envelope again. He was his same old self,” Du Plooy said.