ANC supporters in Tlokwe. (Linda de Beer, Beeld)
Pretoria - The ANC had a 63.24% lead in the Tlokwe/Ventersdorp region of the North West, after nearly half the votes for the region had been captured early on Thursday afternoon.
By lunch time on Thursday, the IEC’s results showed that the DA was in second place with 20.07% of the votes. The EFF was in third place with 8.4%.
This was after 45% of the votes had been counted.
- Live Election Map for Tlokwe
The elections went ahead in Tlokwe with minor hitches on Wednesday. Some independent councillors claimed the voters’ roll still had names of voters whose addresses, either did not fall within specific wards, or had not been verified. The councillors vowed to raise their concerns via the right channels after the elections.
The running of the Tlokwe municipality has been marred by controversy following allegations that by-elections held in 2013 had been rigged.
The Constitutional Court ruled on June 14 this year that the IEC’s failure to compile a voters’ roll with addresses was inconsistent with the Constitution, and therefore invalid. It suspended the declaration of invalidity until June 30, 2018, meaning that the August 3 elections could go ahead with an incomplete voters’ roll.
For Tlokwe however, the IEC had to ensure it got addresses in time for the August 3 election.
The case stemmed from a November 2015 Constitutional Court ruling that the 2013 by-elections were not free and fair. The ANC won all contested wards, except one.
Before the by-elections, several independent candidates had complained to the IEC that some voters were registered in wards in which they did not live.
The candidates approached the Electoral Court to have the by-elections postponed. The court was unable to convene to hear the application. The by-elections went ahead and six of the candidates lost.
The IEC subsequently found that 1 040 voters had been incorrectly registered on the voters' roll.
The Constitutional Court set the by-election results aside. These were to be re-run in February this year. All new voters were required to provide details of their address, or sufficient details of where they lived, in order for them to be placed in a voting district.
The by-elections, however, were halted just a day before they were to take place. Independent candidates examined the voters’ roll and discovered that more than 4 000 voters’ addresses were still outstanding. They successfully challenged the validity of the voters’ roll in the Electoral Court.
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In response, the IEC approached the Constitutional Court in April. It argued that the Electoral Court’s interpretation of the November 2015 judgment was wrong, and that it was only obliged to furnish voters’ addresses which it already had in its possession.
The IEC said that, before 2003, it was not required to keep addresses of voters and it highlighted that the lack of a voters’ address did not make the roll irregular.
It said around eight million dwellings did not have an address and many did not have a tarred road running next to them.
Last month, Parliament was told that the IEC did not have addresses for up to 46% of the more than 26 million people registered to vote in the August elections.