Johannesburg – Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Des van Rooyen "voluntarily" left a voting station in Metsimaholo, Free State, on Wednesday morning after he was blocked by EFF supporters, his spokesperson told News24. Van Rooyen was visiting the area in his capacity as the chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee on elections.The Metsimaholo municipality is caught in a highly contested by-election after an EFF, DA and local Metsimaholo Community Association (MCA) coalition fell apart. According to Cogta spokesperson Legadima Leso, the EFF supporters erected a large tent at the entrance of the polling station, blocking the minister's access to the polling station. Minister Des van Rooyen interacting with the media in #Metsimaholo https://t.co/VTRYSGNVsT— NationalCoGTA (@NationalCoGTA) November 29, 2017Leso said the ministry was, however, concerned that journalists who had been reporting on the minister were also asked to leave. "They have chased away Gupta Appointee Des Van Rooyen from a voting station," @MoLesetja tweeted. The people of #Metsimaholo don't recognise Gupta stooges. They have chased away Gupta Appointee Des Van Rooyen from a voting station. — LesetjaMO (@MoLesetja) November 29, 2017"U got elections on one side, Van Rooyen being chased on the other. Questionable nominations by PGC (Provincial General Council)… Maigot!" This whole saga sounds like an unorganized circus:#ANCFreeState pic.twitter.com/hT7cjLtnge— Vixen???? (@zandy_thabethe) November 29, 2017All 21 wards and 21 proportional representative seats are up for grabs in the by-election, with the SACP contesting elections for the first time in the party's history.