South African Elections: Election Notebook

All of South Africa is voting - but not Kris Viljoen. To vote for an atheistic-Communistic constitution would be ungodly, he says. 'I'd rather not take that risk with the after-life. I'm over 60 years old. I cannot afford to make that mistake. I don't want to die like a dog.'

Krugersdorp is one of the most conservative places in South Africa - at the last, whites-only election it returned as its member of parliament, the moustachioed Conservative Party luminary, Clive Derby-Lewis. Mr Derby- Lewis is not voting in this election either: he is in jail for organising the murder of Chris Hani, a former ANC leader.

Polling in Krugersdorp was proceeding efficiently and amiably yesterday, with blacks coming in from the townships and most whites ignoring the Conservative Party instruction not to vote. Since we could not find the Conservative Party offices, we asked a policeman. The polite, Afrikaner constable led us a little way out of town to the pharmacy run by Mr Viljoen, chairman of the local Conservatives.

Mr Viljoen is not worried about the future of South Africa. 'The Third World cannot destroy the First World. What can happen? Nothing. Angola, Mozambique, Zaire, Rwanda: it cannot happen here. What I predict is that South Africa will be run by a bourgeoisie, one million whites and one million blacks, and the price will be paid by all the little men, small blacks and small whites like me.'

The pharmacist-philosopher supports the idea of an independent, rural volkstaat (Boer homeland). But where would such a homeland be since 80 per cent - at least - of the countryside is black? And who, in a white state, would do all the hard labour now undertaken by black people? 'No, no, no,' said Mr Viljoen. 'We would let in the blacks. They could work in the volkstaat and have all equal rights, except they could not vote.' Now there is a novel idea. OVER the hill in the township of Kagiso, the young, black officials at the polling station are looking bored. The day before the place was besieged; now, it seems, everyone has voted. The officials are glad to receive visitors.

At the next polling station, Gideon Matsafu, the presiding officer, also has no voters. Has he had any other problems? Yes, he confides. Lunch. The Independent Electoral Commission was supposed to bring money to pay for the poll workers' lunch; but no one came.

An old, old lady queuing at a Johannesburg polling station was overheard saying to herself, over and over, 'DP. DP. DP. DP.' Eventually, an election official warned her that she was not allowed to campaign for the Democratic Party within the precincts of the polling station. Under the regulations of the Independent Electoral Commission, this counted as 'intimidation of fellow voters'. Nonsense, said the old lady. She had to keep repeating the letters or she would forget who she was voting for.

More religious problems. Members of the Afrikaans Baptist Church are refusing to vote because they do not want their hands marked with invisible ink to prevent them voting twice. Des Gould of the Lord's Theological College complains that many born-agains regard the marking, or branding, of the body as a sin. But wouldn't an invisible sin be all right? Apparently not . . .

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn