Still hope as Cope captures ward

2011-05-19 09:48

The Congress of the People (Cope) has wrestled control of Ikageng’s Ward 19 from the DA after the ANC failed to field a candidate in the ward.

Preliminary results show Cope councillor candidate, Kenneth Maduna, amassing a comfortable 266 votes ahead of the DA’s Jabulani Makhunga with 135 votes.

However, the ruling party maintained its grip on proportional representation votes in the ward with 2 164 votes from the 3 828 registered voters.

Ward 19 is part of six others in Tlokwe municipality, where the ruling party failed to register candidates with the Independent Electoral Commission.

Earlier on, Moeketsi Serwalo, the ANC secretary in the ward, conceded that it was lost to the ruling party and blamed the provincial structures for the blunder.

He said their leadership conducted door-to-door campaigns informing their members of the dilemma they faced and that they should vote for the ANC on two of the three ballots allocated to them.

“I can assure you that the ANC will top the proportional representation votes for district and local municipality,” Serwalo said earlier.

“We told our members not to vote for any other party but the ANC and to abstain or spoil their ward ballots,” he said.

He confirmed knowledge of rumours doing rounds that ANC members voted Cope to wrestle control of the ward from the DA, but denied that his organisation was involved.

“We never ran that campaign as a branch,” Serwalo said.

The ANC’s failure to field candidates pitted the DA’s Makhunga against Maduna from Cope.

Makhunga was optimistic of a win after DA party leader Helen Zille staged a fierce recruitment crusade in the township last month, boosting his chances but it did not happen.

Maduna is elated that his party acquired an overwhelming majority.

“I was confident as I told you I had an 80% chance of winning the ward,” Maduna said.

About 3 828 registered voters in ward 19 were expected to cast their votes at the ward’s 2 voting stations, Ditaelong Primary and Seiphemelo High School.

A long winding queue of enthusiastic voters waited tirelessly at one of the ward’s voting stations, eager to cast their votes.

Keneilwe Koena, the presiding officer at the voting station, said voters started queing at around 4.30am. Voting at the ward took place without incident.

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