Claims of rigging in amakhosi voting

2009-05-07 00:00

Eleven district houses of traditional leaders in KZN will conduct elections today to choose four amakhosi to represent each region in the KZN House of Traditional Leaders — and the Inkatha Freedom Party claims the process is being manipulated.

The election in the uMgungundlovu District will be conducted at the Royal Showgrounds at 10 am.

However, the IFP, whose leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi is also the chairman of the KZN House of Traditional Leaders, claims the ANC has tried to manipulate the outcome of the elections.

Some amakhosi told The Witness that they believe the IFP claims do not hold water.

The uMkhanyakude District chairman, inkosi Bonga Mdletshe, said the IFP is aware of frenetic campaigning among amakhosi by a delegation from the office of president-elect Jacob Zuma.

“Instead of genuine canvassing, the ANC has been going around offering bribes to amakhosi in exchange for votes. There have been instances where amakhosi have been put up in hotels and asked for their banking details by the ANC campaigners. These practices go way beyond standard canvassing for support on the merits of particular candidates,” he said.

Acting ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said his party is shocked at the IFP’s claims.

He said the electoral process and its procedures are being handled independently by the Local Government and Traditional Affairs Department.

Prior to the elections, the amakhosi had asked to meet with Zuma in Hluhluwe. The amakhosi raised issues of governance and issues that were of concern to them, said Zikalala.

uMgungundlovu District house chairman inkosi Nsikayezwe Zondi said he does not believe the claims made by the IFP. He suggested that proof in the form of hotel bills should be made available. He said he had not been approached or offered a bribe by the ANC.

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