Local elections 2016. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
Durban – A Constitutional Court ruling relating to the by-elections in North West's Tlokwe local municipality, will have a direct impact on by-elections to be held in KwaZulu-Natal in the coming weeks, the IEC said on Friday.
The commission now had the mammoth task of collecting voter addresses and making sure they appeared on the voters’ roll before any by-elections could proceed, KwaZulu-Natal IEC chairperson Mawethu Mosery said.
The Constitutional Court ruled on June 14 this year that the IEC’s failure to compile a voters’ roll with addresses was inconsistent with the Constitution, and therefore invalid.
It suspended the declaration of invalidity until June 30, 2018, meaning that the August 3 elections could go ahead with an incomplete voters’ roll. For Tlokwe however, the IEC had to get voters’ addresses in time for Wednesday’s elections.
Mosery said a number of candidates had died in the province before the August 3 local government elections, which meant by-elections would have to be held. About 12 candidates, mostly ANC members, were killed.
The deceased candidates remained on the ballot papers and the commission had encouraged voters to continue to vote for them, if they were their preferred candidates.
According to a Mercury report, three deceased ANC candidates won in their wards. They would be declared elected when election results were finalised next Wednesday, Mosery said.
The municipality would then declare a vacancy in that ward and a by-election would be held within 90 days. It was not yet clear how many by-elections would take place in the province.
Mosery said that following the Constitutional Court ruling, after August 3 the physical address of every voter registered in a ward had to appear on the roll.
“We will be going to all the communities of those wards to get their addresses before we can finalise the by-election date and the process of the by-election.”
KwaZulu-Natal ANC spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said the party would start preparing for by-elections.
“The fact that we won those wards gives us an advantage going into the by-elections.”
He said the party was generally happy with the results in the province, which it was “obviously winning”.
In the eThekwini metro, the party increased the number of wards it controlled from 73 to 76. It had five new municipalities it had not previously governed: Bergville, Umvoti, Idumbe, Dundee and Pongolo.
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