Voting in Tlokwe continues into the night

2013-09-18 20:01
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Voting in Tlokwe's municipal by-elections continued into Wednesday night as many people headed to voting stations after work, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said.

"In the morning it was a little slow in Tlokwe but it picked up by midday and continued to pick up later," said IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela.

"People are stopping at the voting stations after work on their way home."

Bapela said she was not aware of any violence in Tlokwe.

"This is a highly contested ward and there are high emotions, but there was no report of violence," she said, adding that there were mediators.

"If there are disagreements the mediators will intervene."

Bapela could not provide details on how many people had voted in Tlokwe by 19:00.

But earlier it was said that of the 2 374 registered voters, 563 had made their mark before 17:30.

A total of 3 251 people were registered to vote in the ward which had three polling stations.

Bapela said counting would start around 22:00 and results would start coming through from midnight.

Earlier, a Sapa reporter said emotions ran high at the Ward 18 voting station, where the ANC was up against one of its former councillors.

ANC supporters and residents supporting independent candidate David Kham, who is a former ANC chief whip, stood on opposite sides of the road outside the Chris Hani Community Hall as minibus taxis were bringing in voters.

Both sides were confident, based on the number of people who came to check the voters roll at their tables.

Kham was one of the 14 councillors who was expelled by the ANC in July after its provincial disciplinary committee found them guilty on four counts of misconduct for participating in a motion of no confidence against Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle.

Maphetle was replaced by DA councillor Annette Combrink.

However, the ANC's national disciplinary committee overturned the expulsions.

Party contesting the by-elections

Despite this, eight of the councillors registered as independent candidates for the by-elections.

Wards 6, 18 and 26 were being contested in Tlokwe on Wednesday.

Ward 6 was being contested by Johann Coetzee for the DA, the ANC's Japhta Monaisa and the Azanian People's Organisation's Lesego Malepe.

Ward 26 was being contested by the ANC's Oupa Mogoshane and independent candidate Butiki "Stone" Mahlabe who was also a former ANC councillor.

Earlier, ANC supporters and residents got into a scuffle over the ward.

By-elections were meant to be held in nine Tlokwe wards, however, the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein ordered on Tuesday evening that five out of the nine by-elections be postponed.

This was after the court heard an application by five independent candidates who were disqualified from taking part in the by-elections by the IEC.

A sixth by-election, in Ward 13, was earlier postponed after an out-of-court settlement.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  iec  |  ifp  |  mahikeng  |  local government  |  politics  |  elections 2014  |  tlokwe leadership battle

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