Tlokwe by-elections postponed

2013-10-18 08:34

By-elections in six wards of the Tlokwe local municipality have been postponed, the North West local government department has said.

Local government MEC Manketsi Tlhape agreed to a request by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to postpone the elections, spokesman Dineo Lolokwane said yesterday in a statement.

The by-elections in Wards One, Four, 11, 12, 13, and 20 were to have been held on Wednesday.

According to section eight of the Municipal Electoral Act, the IEC can ask for a postponement if it is “satisfied that it is not reasonably possible to conduct a free and fair election on that day.”.

The IEC said in a statement on Thursday it had proposed December 11 as the new date for the by-elections.

On Tuesday, the IEC said it was considering seeking a postponement because six independent candidates had asked for more time to campaign.

The October 23 date for the by-elections was set after the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein heard an application by five independent candidates who were disqualified by the IEC from taking part in previous by-elections.

The ANC retained control of two of three wards in the remainder of the by-elections in Tlokwe. A sixth by-election, in Ward 13, was earlier postponed after an out-of-court settlement.

The seats were vacated when 14 ANC councillors were expelled from the party in July for participating in a motion of no confidence in then Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle. He was replaced as mayor by Democratic Alliance councillor Annette Combrink.

The ANC’s national disciplinary committee subsequently overturned the expulsions, but nominated other candidates for the by-elections. Some of the former councillors decided to stand as independents.

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