Limpopo court case could derail elections

2016-04-22 13:14
IEC voting station. (Elmarie Jack, News24)

IEC voting station. (Elmarie Jack, News24)

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Polokwane – Protests turned violent outside the Limpopo High Court this week during hearings into a municipal demarcation case that could derail the local government elections.

Nine protesters were injured during clashes with police on Thursday, as lawyers for Vuwani residents were in court opposing their incorporation into the new Malumelele municipality.

"If the court is to review the decision to undo the new municipality, it will create a situation wherein it will be impossible to hold elections," advocate Andrew Redding, for the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), warned the court on Thursday.

He called for the application by Vuwani residents for their area to remain in the Makhado municipality to be dismissed.

The establishment of the new Malumelele municipality was legitimate, he said.

The local government elections are scheduled to take place on August 3. The court heard that the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) was planning to hold the elections as per the new demarcations.

Lawyers for Vuwani residents accused former co-operative governance minister Pravin Gordhan and his provincial MEC Makoma Makhurupetje of delaying public hearings into the matter.

Allen Liversage, for the residents, argued that the MDB’s decision was not implemented in accordance with Gordhan’s recommendations, which did not call for a new municipality.

Liversage told Judge Ephraim Makgoba he believed politicians had pressured the MDB into establishing the new municipality.

Read more on:    iec  |  polokwane  |  local government  |  local elections 2016

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