Faith leaders asked to pray for peace after the elections

2016-07-29 11:22
(AFP)

(AFP)

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Pietermaritzburg - Pray that candidates contesting local government elections accept the results of the August 3 polls, asked Independent Electoral Commission provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery on Thursday of Pietermaritzburg’s faith leaders.

Over 11 000 candidates from 32 political parties and Independent candidates will be competing for just 1 830 seats available in the province.

Speaking during the provincial prayer for peaceful, free and fair elections organised by the KZN Christian Council yesterday, Mosery said it was important that those who are not elected, do not start protesting after the elections.

“The burden is on all of us to ensure that the 9 000 who will not get the seats accept the results of elections,” he said.

Mosery said it had been proven in other neighbouring countries that elections can trigger political turmoil.

“Just look at the violence going on in Sudan.

“In Burundi, just the announcement by the president that he would stand for a third term, led to major violence in the country. Now we are seeing an attempted coup in Turkey.”

Despite the number of politically motivated killings in the province escalating to as many as 14 since the beginning of the year, Mosery said the province was not in crisis.

“Our province is stable. We are only dealing with isolated evil minds that are killing the candidates. These killings are not done by a large group of people, it is a few individuals. That is why it is difficult for police to arrest them.”

Mosery said most of the protests that had erupted in the province this year had not been about service delivery, but were about getting rid of the current standing councillors.

“Socio-economic challenges are also contributing to the violence. People see becoming a councillor as a five-year job,” he said.

Mosery also pleaded with those who will be jobless after the elections as a result of smaller municipalities being amalgamated by the Demarcation Board, not to cause trouble.

“We always get worried when municipalities are reduced,” he said.

Seven local municipalities were amalgamated.

“We have amalgamated Umtshezi and Mbabazane.

“That region is unstable. They are always killing each other. I hope we have not made things worse by combining them,” he said.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

DISCUSSIONS on Msunduzi possibly becoming a metro would only start in 2017, Mosery said.

There have been several previous attempts to convert the city into a metro. Mosery said the demarcation board would be opening up the process next year.

“It is important for everybody to participate in the process. People have a tendency of not participating in the discussion.

“Then when the decision has been made, they take to the streets to protest about that particular decision,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  iec  |  local government elections

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