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Durban - The Independent Electoral Commission is hoping to resolve by the weekend complaints over the exclusion of special votes in last week's by-elections in Nongoma.
The African National Congress and Inkatha Freedom Party lodged complaints over special votes that were excluded in Wards 10 and 11 of Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal chief electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said.
In Ward 10, the ANC is questioning the exclusion of three special votes, the amount by which it lost to the National Freedom Party during the by-election on Wednesday.
The NFP received 906 votes, the African National Congress 903, and the IFP 824 votes. There were 26 spoilt ballots.
In Ward 11 the NFP candidate won by nine votes, with 889, to the IFP's 880. There were 30 spoilt ballots.
The IFP has questioned the exclusion of special votes in that ward.
Special votes are cast by people not in the voting district on the day of the by-election. Or they are votes cast by those too old or sick to get to voting stations. In that case IEC officials go to the voters.
Those votes were apparently excluded because there was no stamp on the back of the ballots indicating when they were issued.
Both the IFP and the ANC claimed the missing stamps had nothing to do with them, but were a failure on the part of IEC officials.
Mosery said most of the special votes in Nongoma had been cast the day before the by-election and agents from all the parties were present.
“The facts are almost the same. It's just the numbers (of ballots) that are different. We will have to go through the process and understand why they were not stamped. We need to make sure that there were no ballots that were introduced that were not official ballots.
Mosery hoped the investigations would be completed by the end of the week. There were no complaints related to the third by-election in Nongoma's Ward five.
The by-elections came about after three IFP councillors resigned from the IFP and joined the ANC. - Sapa