Minor 'commotion' as by-elections get under way in KZN

2019-04-10 16:08
Voting station (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Voting station (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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There was a minor disruption at a Bergville voting station in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) where potentially telling by-elections in the Okhahlamba Municipality are taking place on Wednesday.

"We can confirm there was a commotion," police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said. "However police officers were deployed immediately and responded to the situation. No other incidents were reported."

KZN Electoral Commission manager Ntombifuthi Masinga also confirmed the disruption.

"It was a very small incident where one of the political parties was apparently blocking a point of entry."

She said other than that, there were no issues.

"We are expecting voting to close at 21:00. It should start getting busier toward that time."

ANC to reclaim or surprise upset?

The ward was previously occupied by the ANC, but became vacant after the death of a councillor.

Several candidates are competing for the ward, including Manqoba Herbert Hlatshwayo from the ANC, Nkosinathi Richard Mhlanga from the ATM, Siyabonga Ndimande from Cope, Sakhile Sizwe Dlalisa from the EFF, Mkhuzeni Johannes Hlongwane from the IFP and Fanuel Mbethu from the NFP.

ANC spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the party was confident of a win.

"I think the people on the ground are very eager to have the ANC represent them."

The voter turnout for the ward in the 2016 municipal elections was 60.20%, with the ANC winning 52.23% of valid votes.

Slim margins

Meanwhile in Vryheid, the battle for Ward 21 in the AbaQulusi municipality also heats up on Wednesday.

The seat became vacant after the resignation of an ANC councillor.

The ward will be contested by Nkosinathi Mkhwanazi from the ANC, Keneilwe Charlotte Nkadimeng from the EFF, Eric Mlandeni Ngidi from the IFP and Thabile Patience Mavimbela from the NFP.

The voter turnout for the ward in 2016 was 55.95%, and the ANC candidate won the ward with 44.77% of valid votes.

Votes are expected to be counted after 21:00 on Wednesday.

Read more on:    anc  |  durban  |  politics  |  local elections

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