ANC shows big lead in tense Malamulele municipality

2016-08-04 16:31

Pretoria - The ANC has won more than 80% of the votes counted in the volatile Malamulele municipality in Limpopo.

According to the IEC, 79% of the votes had already been captured in the area by 15:00 on Thursday, with the ANC claiming 84.36% of them.

The EFF came in second, with 8.94% of the votes. Independent candidates in the area had captured 0.78% of the votes so far.

Many residents of Vuwani opted not to vote on Wednesday to express their unhappiness with the government.

Earlier this year, some residents burnt down and vandalised dozens of schools in protests against a decision by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), leaving nearly 53 000 pupils affected.

The destruction started on April 29, when the Masia Traditional Council lost a court application to set aside the MDB's decision to merge the underperforming Vuwani municipality with parts of the Malamulele municipality in the Vhembe district.

On Monday, voting stations were not opened in Vuwani. The IEC had also decided to postpone special voting until Tuesday, due to the small number of applications received.

Residents boycott polls and play soccer

Only 32 people had applied for special votes, IEC CEO Mosotho Moepya said.

On Wednesday morning, police had been deployed to all 56 voting stations in Vuwani.

However, some residents played soccer near voting stations instead of going to vote, in protest against their areas’ incorporation into a new municipality.

Three community leaders were also arrested in Vuwani earlier in the week for allegedly trying to intimidate people, and for declaring that the elections would not take place.

Residents on Wednesday claimed that the government had not consulted them when incorporating their villages into the new, still-to-be-named municipality. They wanted to remain under the Makhado municipality.

Ditches had been dug across some roads in an attempt to prevent IEC officials from accessing the area. Police armoured vehicles were parked on street corners and IEC officials resorted to taking their voting material to the Vuwani police station.

In the neighbouring Makhado municipality, the IEC had captured 61% of the votes by 15:00 on Thursday.

The ANC was leading with 74.21% of the votes. The DA was in second place, with 12.51% of the votes, while the EFF had won 9.03%.

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