IFP wants handful of rejected votes counted

2013-10-28 00:00

THE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has been asked to consider another objection after the NFP won a hotly contested by-election held in Nongoma last week.

Last week, the ANC asked the IEC to look at why three special votes cast in the Ward 10 by-election were not counted as they were not stamped.

NFP candidate Mbongeleni Victor Ntombela won Ward 10 after he garnered 906 votes to the ANC’s 903.

Now the IFP wants the IEC to scrutinise votes cast in Ward 11 after nine votes separated the NFP and IFP. The electoral body has confirmed receipt of the objection.

Although the IFP was not immediately available for comment yesterday, NFP secretary- general Nhlanhla Khubisa dismissed the objection.

“We are not worried about that. There were party agents on the spot, the counting was done at the voting stations and the IEC declared the by-elections free and fair,” Khubisa said.

He also said the NFP would not interfere with other parties contesting the by-election outcome. “We don’t have to argue the results. They [IFP] should just go to the drawing board.”

It was the second objection lodged with the IEC after three by-elections were held last Wednesday following the resignation of IFP councillors who joined the ANC in August.

NFP candidate Nombuyana Samuel won Ward 11 with 889 votes. The IFP’s Nkosinathi Mzukhona Nzimande garnered 880 votes and the ANC’s Nhlanhla Michael Mthembu obtained 710.

A total of 2 509 votes were cast — 2 479 were declared valid and 30 were spoilt ballots.

However, it has since emerged that some special votes in Ward 11 were not counted after they were found not to be stamped by the IEC.

Weekend Witness reported on Saturday that the ANC’s Goodwill Bhekithemba Nyembe received 903 votes in Ward 10 and IFP candidate Themba Jacob Nsele got 824 votes. A total of 2 659 votes were cast — 2 633 were declared valid and there were 26 spoilt ballots.

KZN provincial electoral commissioner Mawethu Mosery confirmed that the ANC and IFP had lodged objections in connection with uncounted ballots in Wednesday’s by-elections.

“Both are before the commissioners who will make a decision by Wednesday,” he said.

Mosery said the KZN IEC has conducted an investigation and a decision would be announced soon.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said when there were closely contested elections, people were bound to take interest in the disputed votes and contest the outcome.

“It raises the issue of ineptitude or inefficiency of the electoral body. It also raises questions around corruption as to why a ballot made it, without verification and stamping, to the ballot box,” Fikeni said.

He also said the counting of unstamped votes could be seriously challenged unless the IEC admitted they made a mistake.

The IEC should conduct a credible probe into the unstamped votes to ensure it maintained its integrity and to help avert political violence, he said.

• mayibongwe.maqhina@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.