At least one polling station in the South African province of Kwa-Zulu Natal had to conduct its business by candelight after the power supply failed, leaving voters and officials struggling in the darkness to complete the voting procedures, while outside voters expressed fears of “being attacked.”

A report in South Africa’s IOL news service titled “’We are shocked to find vote counting will be done in darkness’” reported that members of political parties and Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials “were outraged when voting had to be conducted by candlelight as a result of a power outage at a polling station in Ulundi, Zululand, on May 8 evening.”

Tholo Masango, an IEC presiding officer at Mabedlana Primary School, said without electricity power, conducting voting was “extremely difficult.”

She said instead of power being restored the station was only provided with candles.

“The power was cut off at about 9am, and we reported it and remained hopeful that it was going to be switched on before dark.

“At 5.30pm we were promised battery powered lamps and we are still waiting,” she said.

Independent Media saw officers struggling to check voters’ IDs as they were using cell phone lights and candles.

Voters had to also use their cellphones to check their preferred parties at ballot booths.

“We are even running out of cellphone batteries because we don’t have anywhere to charge… Candles do not provide enough lights,” she said.

Masango said she was concerned that counting ballot papers would be difficult without lights.

Parties members who camped outside the station expressed concern.

“We might even be attacked here because of darkness. They switched the power on a very wrong day.