NEWS

ANC Accused of Playing Dirty Tricks in Nquthu

While the IEC says voting has gone smoothly, opposition parties are worried about the ANC's tactics.

25/05/2017 10:25 SAST | Updated 25/05/2017 10:41 SAST
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Supporters of the African National Congress chant slogans during ANC president Jacob Zuma's election campaign in Atteridgeville a township located to the west of Pretoria, South Africa July 5, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The ANC has been accused of busing in voters from Durban to Nquthu, where a by-election took place on Tuesday, according to Business Day on Thursday.

While the IEC said voting had gone smoothly, opposition parties complained that buses were ordered to bring overs from outside the area to vote on Tuesday.

The municipality in KwaZulu-Natal has reportedly been at an impasse since the August 2016 municipal election, leading to the scrapping of the election results. There has been no mayor, deputy mayor, speaker or any other elected office bearer since August 2016.

IEC vice-chairman Terry Tselane told Business Day that all 117 voting stations in the area were operating, adding, "It has been smooth sailing so far".

But the IFP was not so upbeat.

IFP chairman Blessed Gwala told Business Day that the party had seen ANC election material being transported and the last minute cancellation of buses hired to transport voters from Durban.

"We are aware that there should be no campaigning today and, therefore, we are concerned when such things are taking place while voting is in progress," Gwala told Business Day.

DA leader in the province, Zwakele Mncwango reportedly said he was told by a Durban bus driver that he had been instructed to transport people from Durban.

"I was told five buses were booked from Umlazi. Whether those were voted or not, we have noted the dirty tricks and we hope the IEC will investigate this," he told Business Day.

Tselane said the IEC had noted the complaints.

"Bussing of voters is only relevant during registration. During the election, a voter can only vote where they are registered. As a commission, we are confident that our systems are in place to prevent any voter from voting who is not registered within Nquthu Municipality and within the voting district they are ordinarily residents," he said.