Ward 1 election process under scrutiny

2016-09-07 06:00
The DA’s Thokozani Gumede is one of the complainants.x

The DA’s Thokozani Gumede is one of the complainants.x

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OPPOSITION parties in KwaDukuza have lodged complaints with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) over the employment of IEC officials and how elections were conducted in Ward 1 in the area.

The parties include the Democratic Alliance (DA) the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

The DA’s Thokozani Gumede opened a case of electoral fraud with the KwaDukuza SAPS.

KZN SAPS spokesperson, Lieutenant colonel Thulani Zwane said a case in terms of the Electoral Act is being investigated by KwaDukuza SAPS.

“We cannot reveal further information as the matter is still under investigation. No arrests have been made and investigations are continuing,” he said.

The DA’s Gumede said he managed to email his objections to the IEC on the day of the deadline (5 August). He said he spoke to an IEC official over the phone who is based in Pretoria. This official, Gumede said, told him her name is Nomsa Mahlale and he added that she acknowledged receiving his objection and further told him he, Gumede, would be responded to in writing. However, he said he has not received any response since.

Gumede’s objections – and those of the EFF and IFP – are that officials employed by the IEC were known office bearers of the ANC Youth League in the ward and that some were allowed to campaign inside voting stations in certain voting districts.

Furthermore, the complainants claim that some elderly citizens voted twice since their thumbs were not marked with ink when they cast their special vote and so they voted again on 3 August.

In a letter written by the EFF’s Sbonelo Gumede to the local IEC appealing for by-elections, it is stated: “Day two special votes for station were inserted inside a box file instead of a ballot box, I raised my objection to the presiding officer, but she chased me out of a voting station and she also refused to give me MEC 9 forms because I’m also a candidate.”

The IFP’s Sibonelo Mkhwanazi also said the presiding officer refused to issue him with objection forms.

He said his organisation wants by-elections to be held and that the IEC must ensure that these are fair.

ANC Greater KwaDukuza spokesperson Lucky Makhathini said the organisation would only issue a statement on the matter once the IEC informs the party formally about the objections raised.

He said after the elections the IEC stated the process had been fair and in some parts throughout the district where objections were raised the ANC would concede and since it was in a majority lead would hand over disputed number of votes to whichever party had raised the objection.

According to the complainants, the IEC had not responded to their objections.

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