By-elections going smoothly: IEC

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iol news pic IEC logo sep 20

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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 1/8Thursday 3/8,” spokeswoman Kate Bapela said.

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, the National Freedom Party and the African National Congress. 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.

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

On Wednesday, numerous cars bearing the banners of the various parties were being driven around the ward.

Large numbers of people, some of them wearing T-shirts showing their support for a political party, milled outside the polling booths.

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.

The councillor's post in Ward Two, in Hlabisa, became vacant when the NFP's Mondli Jele resigned. Since last year's local government elections Hlabisa has been run by an African National Congress and NFP coalition.

Ward Four, in Nkandla, President Jacob Zuma's hometown, became vacant after the councillor died of natural causes.

By-elections were also being held in Ward 22 of the Lukhanji (Queenstown) municipality in the Eastern Cape, 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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