Buthelezi seeks election delay
Durban - Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi has approached the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg to stop the upcoming traditional council elections.
"Buthelezi has notified us of his intention to interdict the elections," said provincial co-operative governance department spokesperson Lennox Mabaso.
The matter is expected to be heard on February 15, just four days before the elections.
It was reported on Thursday that Buthelezi, the chief of the Buthelezi clan, wants the elections to be held later this year to allow for proper preparations. He wants a voter’s roll to be prepared before the elections.
Traditional council elections are part of the government's attempts to instil democratic principles in traditional governance, because it plays an important role in South Africa's multi-cultural society.
Under the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, only 60% the council's members are appointed by the senior traditional leader. The rest must be democratically elected.
Mabaso said he hoped the matter would be resolved before the elections. People needed to prepare themselves for the elections, he said.
"We respect Buthelezi and we don’t doubt his commitment to development in rural areas as well as entrenchment of democracy."
Mabaso said only registered people would be allowed to vote.
"People will also vote in voting stations where they registered to vote," he said.
"There were two voter registration periods. The voter registration dates were announced in the media and the voting stations were published in newspapers," he said.