‘I vote for a better life’: 116-year-old
Phineas Sakara, who is 116 years old, started his Wednesday at the voting station, and would end it as he does every day, sitting under the grapevine in his garden, greeting his neighbours as they return from work and watching the sun go down.
He was relieved it took only 10 minutes to make his mark, but would not have minded to wait – he vividly remembers elections during apartheid when he could not participate.
“We couldn’t vote in those years and I remember just wishing that I could also cast my vote. That is why now, I make sure that with every election I vote. On days like those, we felt like we were not part of the country.”
But while Sakara would not miss voting for anything, his daughter, 65, did not want him to vote because she believes the ANC is not taking care of the elderly.
“I’m not going to vote and I didn’t want him to vote, but he is adamant that he wants to vote, so I have to respect his decision,” said Motshidisi Chirwa.
Sakara was among a handful of residents from his area who braved chilly weather on election day in his neighbourhood in Atamelang, North West.
He said he was impressed with the service at the voting station but concerned about how few people turned up.
“This doesn’t look good at all. Where are the people? I’m glad that I was done voting in a few minutes and it didn’t take long like it used to in previous years, especially in 1994 when we spent close to four hours in queues. Now, I was done in 10 minutes.”
He does not mind sharing which political party he voted for: “I vote for the ANC of Mandela, everyone knows that. I’m ANC. I voted for a better life. A better life that Mandela wanted for all of us, young and old.”..