IFP election win nullified

2009-07-16 00:00

THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has won a court application to have the results of a by-election in Imbabazane Municipality near Estcourt declared null and void.

In a press briefing yesterday, party provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the ANC lodged a formal objection with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to set aside the outcome of the by-elections held in Ward 3 in Imbabazane on March 4.

The election was contested only by the ANC and IFP.

Zikalala said the party requested the by-election’s results to be deemed invalid on the basis that they were not free and fair.

“In the lead-up to, during and after the by-election, there were unprecedented levels of violence and intimidation directed at ANC members and the people of Imbabazane. In their relentless quest to take over this ANC stronghold, the IFP violated almost every rule of the Electoral Code of Conduct,” said Zikalala.

The by-election was marred by intimidation, including abusive, threatening language, malicious damage to property and stoning of an SAPS vehicle, grievous bodily harm, a knobkerrie attack against a female member of the provincial legislature, Winile Zondi, and attempted murder of ANC members at all five voting stations in ward 3, said Zikalala.

IFP members blockaded the gates to voting stations and physically prevented people from accessing the voter stations. “An ambulance attempting to reach a shot victim could not drive past the blockade and was forced to turn back”. Senior IFP leaders and councillors made threats in the area, Zikalala said.

Delivering his judgment at the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein, Judge J. Pillay said that the results published by the IEC after the election declared the IFP as victors with 1 068 votes against the ANC’s 1 043.

The ANC had provided sworn evidence that a number of prospective voters did not exercise their right to vote, essentially out of fear of being assaulted or intimidated, Pillay said in his judgment.

 

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