New election date set in volatile Imbabazane

2009-09-03 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) yesterday announced a new election date in the politically volatile ward three in the Imbabazane Municipality near Estcourt.

The process to elect a ward councillor follows the nullification by the electoral court of results from a by-election held in March that favoured the IFP. The decision was taken in July by the electoral court.

Speaking during a press briefing yesterday, KZN IEC head Mawethu Mosery said the upcoming by-election will be held on October 14 and that the commission is concerned about security in the area.

Political intolerance and violence between ANC and IFP supporters in the council’s ward three flared up ahead of and on the day of the by-election. Two people were allegedly shot and woun­ded as a result of altercations between the two parties. Vehicles belonging to members of both parties were pelted with stones; car windows and side mirrors were damaged on some vehicles.

Mosery said the IEC met with the councillors in the municipality and stakeholders from the IFP and ANC to map a way forward in holding an incident-free by-election.

“The stakeholders requested more security to be deployed in the area weeks before the election takes place,” said Mosery.

A recommendation, he said, has been made to the IEC to close the voting stations earlier than usual. He said that it has been recommended that the the voting stations should be opened at 7 am and closed by 7 pm.

According to Mosery, 4 000 voters are registered to cast their votes on October 14. He said unregistered voters can register from next week. After that, the process to nominate candidates will follow, along with campaigning.

THE by-election in the uMvoti (Greytown) Municipality’s ward 11 proceeded without hindrance yesterday.

This was according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the police. A large police contingent was deployed in Greytown to monitor the voting process to replace deceased IFP councillor Bernard Mbatha, who was shot and killed in June in an incident believed linked to political intolerance between the IFP and the ANC.

KZN IEC head Mawethu Mosery said the election proceeded without incidents. The ward was contested by the IFP and the ANC.

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