EFF contests KZN by-elections for the first time

2015-05-06 05:47

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Durban - The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters, which has contested very few by-elections since its launch as a political party, will take part in by-elections in KwaZulu-Natal for the first time on Wednesday.

Until now, Julius Malema's party has often opted to support independent candidates.

A total of 19 by-elections will be held in the disbanded Mtubatuba municipality.

The municipality's council was dissolved in February following a decision by the provincial cabinet. This followed political instability in the area.

The IEC gave parties until April 7 to submit notice of intention to contest by-elections in the municipality, their party list and relevant documents and deposits.

Voters in the municipality would be given two ballot papers - one for the ward and one for the PR candidates.

‘Outrageous corruption’

EFF MPL in the province Vusi Khoza said support for the party was growing in the province and he was confident it would do well during the by-elections.

"People understand the municipality was disbanded on the basis that it was dysfunctional and there was outrageous corruption [happening there]," he told News24.

"The existing parties in the municipality, the IFP, NFP and ANC have failed the community... So people are looking for an alternative. That influences the people to say we are looking for something different," Khoza said.

Of the 19 by-elections being held in Mtubatuba, the EFF is contesting seven.

The African National Congress and Inkatha Freedom Party have been campaigning in the area as well ahead of the by-election.

The ANC, IFP and DA are contesting all 19 wards.

The ANC previously represented 10 wards in the area and IFP nine.

The National Freedom Party will be contesting 15 wards and the African Independent Congress contesting 18.

The KwaZulu-Natal department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs urged people in Mtubatuba to go vote on Wednesday.


"Our appeal is to the people of Mtubatuba to exercise their democratic right and make their voices heard in the by-elections whose outcome will replace the temporary administration of their municipality by the provincial government," MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said in a statement.

"We have done all in our power to restore order to Mtubatuba and now it is up to the local residents to ensure that they elect councillors who will ensure stability of their municipality into the future."

She said the team put in place to turn the municipality around had gone out of their way to lay ground rules for a stable and financially viable municipality.

"They have put in place a set of procedures to ensure future compliance with the relevant local governance legislation and it will be up to the newly elected municipal council to see to it that such compliance prevails."

Dube-Ncube also urged residents to vet each candidate and pick the best one when voting.

More by-elections

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

Ward Nine in the Ingwe municipality will be contested by the ANC, IFP and NFP.

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

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

By-elections will also be taking place in the Free State, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape on Wednesday.

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

Ward 23 in the Maluti a Phofung (Qwa-Qwa) municipality will 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.

North West, Western Cape

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

The ward became vacant when the previous ANC councillor died.

Two wards will be contested in the Western Cape.

In the Langeberg (Robertson) municipality Ward Two will be 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 will 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:    eff  |  durban  |  politics

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