By-elections still under way - IEC

2015-05-06 19:33
(File: IEC)

(File: IEC)

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Johannesburg - Voting in by-elections in five provinces was still under way late on Wednesday afternoon, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said. 

Spokesperson Kate Bapela said voting would close at 21:00. 

"From midnight we will start receiving the results, which would be released tomorrow [Thursday] morning," she said. 

"By tomorrow we will also have an idea of the voter turn-out."

The by-elections were held in wards in Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape.

In the North West, Ward Four in the Mamusa (Schweizer-Reneke) municipality was uncontested with only Maleseso Vivian Lee, from the ANC standing.

IEC officials in KwaZulu-Natal said earlier that more than 60 000 people had turned out to cast their votes in by-elections in Mtubatuba. 

The highly-contested Mtubatuba Municipality council, which falls under Umkhanyakude district, was dissolved earlier this year following a decision by the provincial cabinet.

A total of 19 by-elections were held on Wednesday in the disbanded municipality.

Provincial chairperson Mawethu Mosery told News24 that the IEC started operating at 03:00 in the morning.

“By 07:00 we started distributing all voting materials to all 81 voting stations around Mtubatuba. We opened our gates at 07:00 in the morning,” said Mosery.

“We had already seen more than 60 000 voters by midday and the IEC is pleased that everything went accordingly today,” he said.

“Mtubatuba has 38 council seats, 19 PR seats and 19 ward councillor seats. Each ward is an election on its own and we will know by tomorrow who are the winners. We will start the counting immediately after the voting ends,” said Mosery.

No irregularities

He said no violence or irregularities had been reported to the commission, however on Tuesday night he received a complaint from the IFP. 

A livid Blessed Glala, an IFP MPL, said, “Yesterday [on Tuesday] we lodged a complaint with the IEC about 38 people who were allowed to participate in the by-election even though they were not from ward 1 and are not residents of Mtubatuba.”

“The IEC is still mum on the matter and that is why we say that they have failed to do their job. They are treating the ruling party with kiddy gloves,” claimed Gwala.

He said a private security company called Khombindlela Security Services had been employed to provide security during the by-elections.

“Why did they [the IEC] not employ the services of the police? We asked the IEC and they are still mum on this issue."

But Mosery said the IFP complaint had been resolved.

“We are aware of all their grievances and we have dealt with them.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said the elections had gone well, except for one major hiccup.

“This morning there were no ward ballot papers in Ward Four and 21 people voted without those ballot papers, but the issue was later sorted out and everything is going well so far.”

Another two by-elections were taking place in the Ingwe (Creighton) and Ubuhlebezwe (Ixopo) municipalities.

Ward Nine in the Ingwe municipality would be contested by the ANC, IFP and National Freedom Party.

The ward was previously represented by the ANC, but became vacant when the councillor resigned.

In the Ubuhlebezwe municipality, Ward Two was contested by the ANC and IFP. The previous ANC councillor died.

In the Free State, two by-elections were being be held.

Ward 23 in the Maluti a Phofung (Qwa-Qwa) municipality would be contested by the ANC and African People's Convention.

The ward was previously represented by the ANC, but the councillor resigned.

In the Mantsopa (Ladybrand) municipality Ward Seven will be contested by the ANC, Congress of the People and the DA. The previous ANC councillor had died.

One by-election is taking place in the Greater Tubatse (Burgersfort/Ohrigstad/Eastern Tubatse) municipality in Limpopo.

Ward 18 will be contested by an independent candidate, Piet Thembisile Mashele, the ANC and the DA.

The ward became vacant when the ANC councillor was expelled by the MEC.

Two wards were being contested in the Western Cape.

In the Langeberg (Robertson) municipality Ward Two was being contested by the ANC, Cope and the DA.

The ward was previously represented by the ANC and became vacant when the councillor resigned.

In Outdsthoorn municipality Ward Seven would be contested by the ANC, DA and the Unemployed Peoples Association.

The previous DA councillor was removed after he was expelled from the party.

Read more on:    iec  |  local government  |  politics

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