By-elections going smoothly: IEC

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iol news pic IEC logo nov 6 .

Johannesburg - A number of by-elections in five provinces were going smoothly on Wednesday, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said.

“It's been so far, so good. The results will be in by tomorrow [Thursday],” said IEC spokeswoman Kate Bapela.

Four by-elections were being held in KwaZulu-Natal, two of them because the councillor had been killed.

Ward 39 in KwaMashu, Durban, was being contested by the Inkatha Freedom Party and the National Freedom Party.

They have been at loggerheads in the ward since early August.

At least five IFP supporters or members, and the son of an NFP leader have been killed in the area since then.

The ward was previously held by the IFP's Themba Xulu. He was found shot dead in Inanda on October 7 after being abducted from his home two days earlier.

Colonel Vincent Mdunge said on Tuesday evening that no politically-motivated violence had been reported since NFP leader Zanele KaMagwaza Msibi's motorcade was stoned and a journalist's car was torched, allegedly by IFP supporters, on November 25.

An additional 133 public order policing unit members had been deployed to A-section, in KwaMashu, where most of the violence in the ward has taken place.

In eThekwini, Ward 72, in the Welbedacht area of Chatsworth, in Durban, councillor Mthembeni Shezi (also known as Msizeni Ximba) was shot at a meeting at the Imbaliyethi High School on September 26.

Shezi, branch deputy chairman Sbu Mpanza, and ward committee member Bulelani Mjoli were wounded. Shezi died in hospital the next day.

Ward Two, in Hlabisa, was left open after the resignation of the NFP's Mondli Jele.

Since last year's local government elections, Hlabisa has been run by an African National Congress and NFP coalition.

Ward Four, in Nkandla, became vacant after the sitting councillor died of natural causes.

Nkandla, which is President Jacob Zuma's hometown, has recently been in public eye, after it emerged that the president's private residence in the town was undergoing a reported R250 million upgrade.

By-elections were also being held in Ward 22 of the Lukhanji (Queenstown) municipality, Ward 12 of the Setsoto (Senekal) municipality in the Free State, Ward Three in Msukaligwa (Ermelo) in Mpumalanga and in Ward Two of the Bitou (Greater Plettenberg Bay) municipality in the Western Cape.

Sapa


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