Johannesburg – Former president Thabo Mbeki, who arrived at the Holy Family College in Killarney to vote just after noon, said his vote was still a secret but “you can guess what it is”.
Mbeki, who met this week with EFF leader, Julius Malema, as well as with Johannesburg mayor, Parks Tau, said the reason he insisted his vote was a secret was “to ensure the integrity of the system – the electoral system.”
He said it was also “to make sure that people can vote freely with their conscience and not feel intimidated”.
“That is why I’m raising it, not necessarily that my vote is a secret, you can guess what it is, but I feel it is important to communicate this message so that everybody should be assured that what we should have done here is that nobody will come down from the street and ask why did you vote for so and so and so and so because you see that is a very important thing. So it’s still secret,” he laughed.
Asked about elections violence Mbeki said it was true that these elections were “hotly contested,” but he felt South Africa’s democracy was strong.
“The constitutional democracy has been tested many times already since 1994, and I think we have survived that.
“But the question that you raise about the absence of violence is very important. Hopefully nothing will happen. Because I’m quite sure all of us are very deeply concerned about what happened before in terms of reports of the media of so many candidate councillors being killed,” he said.