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Protest prevents IEC officials from working

2016-08-01 19:15

Durban – A protest in KwaZulu-Natal briefly prevented Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) officials from working in Ward 1 at the Umzimkhulu Municipality near Kokstad on Monday, IEC officials said.

Speaking to News24, IEC provincial head Mawethu Mosery said officials could not access the voting station in the area.

"We had a problem accessing the voting station this morning due to the protests. Thanks to the authorities, we were operational very quickly. I cannot confirm what the protest was about at this stage."

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said protesters dug trenches in the road leading to the voting station in Ward 1.

"Police are still in the area monitoring the situation. Two suspects were arrested."

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Kokstad Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of public violence.

Special votes unaffected

Mosery said 17 home visits would be conducted in the area for special votes.

"The protests did not affect the home visits in any way. We have a few more to complete tomorrow."

When asked if he expected more protests Mosery said: "We hope not. We are not expecting any. All our reports received from various areas indicate that there will be peace."

Special votes for the local government elections commenced on Monday and will continue through until Tuesday.

KZN IEC operations manager Futhi Masinga previously said the province had more than 80 000 special votes with 50 000 of those being home visits.

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