‘Free, fair’ by-election vowed for KwaMashu

2012-12-04 00:00

BY-ELECTIONS to be held in KwaMashu will go ahead tomorrow, but with additional police being deployed to monitor the area, which has been gripped by political violence all year.

The KwaMashu by-elections, in Ward 39, are one of four to be held by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in KwaZulu-Natal.

The National Freedom Party, Inkatha Freedom Party and ANC are contesting all four by-elections, while the Democratic Alliance is standing only in Ward 72 in eThekwini.

The KwaMashu seat became vacant after IFP councillor Themba Xulu was abducted and found dead in a cane field. This came after an IFP supporter, Cebisile Shezi, was shot dead near a railway station in September.

A multi-party committee has since been formed in an attempt to bring peace.

At a press conference yesterday, the authorities were confident that the by-elections would be peaceful and fair. KZN electoral commissioner Mawethu Mosery said measures had been put in place to ensure free and fair elections.

“The climate is now conducive for the commission to deliver elections. We are encouraged by the progress that has been made and the role played by political parties and other roleplayers,” Mosery said. He said voting would take place from 7 am to 7 pm in Ward 39,and eThekwini’s Ward 72.

However, voting would close at 9 pm at Ward 2 in Hlabisa Municipality and Ward 4 in Nkandla Municipality.

KZN police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said additional officers would be deployed for the KwaMashu by-election.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that people of this province are safe. We have additional police deployed to assist the province. I am confident that police will handle the situation,” she said.

Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu was equally confident that the multi-party committee would yield violence-free by-elections in KwaMashu.

He emphasised that political intolerance could not be solved by the police, but that it was a political challenge which needed mainly political parties “to take charge and work on the attitude of their members”.

The IFP yesterday criticised the deployment of mobile clinics in KwaMashu as electioneering on the part of the ANC.

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