Ward committee poll called off in PMB

2007-11-26 00:00

A resident who did not want to be named told The Witness that the ANC ward 10 councillor Musawenkosi “Qashane” Mchunu did not inform residents that elections were taking place.

“We only heard that there was a meeting taking place today [Sunday]. The councillor with his proposed committee candidates only went to the people who will vote for them and a bus was organised to deliver them to the hall … now we are just standing outside while other people who were told to come prepared are exercising their democratic right,” a resident said.

Another resident alleged that one of the candidates drew a firearm on her, which caused people to disperse. This reporter witnessed some residents running away from the gate. “These elections are not democratic. How can we vote for criminals who intimidate us during the elections?” she said.

The Witness was told by residents that the proposed committee candidates served on the body before and “have done nothing for the ward”.

Another resident, who introduced himself as Mdu, complained that there was not a single person on the list representing his area.

Ward 10 councillor Mchunu said the elections were called off by council speaker Alpha Shelembe after some SACP members disrupted the proceedings. He said people demanded to vote by show of hands but had to follow a directive from the municipality to vote by a secret ballot. “IEC officials were instructing old people and the illiterate who to vote for. When the community realised what was happening they … stopped the elections,” Mchunu said.

Meanwhile, Fred Wagner of the Eastwood Community Forum said they will approach the high court to challenge the ward committee elections there, which he claimed were not properly carried out.

The Witness was unable to reach the councillor for Ward 34, Mzwakhe Dladla, for comment yesterday.

ANC chief whip Sehla Ngubane said he went to France, Caluza Stadium and Esigodini townships, where everything went well and he was unaware of any problems.

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