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IFP and EFF want Umkomaas ward committee election rerun after allegations of mismanagement

The IFP and EFF said eThekwini ward 99 committee election processes were flouted, resulting in an all-ANC ward committee. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

The IFP and EFF said eThekwini ward 99 committee election processes were flouted, resulting in an all-ANC ward committee. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 24, 2022

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DURBAN - Allegations of mismanagement have emerged at the Umkomaas ward 99 committee election which took place on Sunday.

The IFP has accused the ANC of causing havoc similar to the incident which disrupted the council meeting to elect a new eThekwini mayor after the local government elections in November last year.

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Public representative, councillor Jane Naidoo, said a group of individuals entered the hall where a meeting was due to take place, causing confusion among community members.

“Registration times and procedures for the ward committee were widely circulated and advertised. The wilful unruly disruption and intimidation of people who chose to exercise their will to participate in legislated processes is an act that must be strongly condemned.

“In fact the modus operandi used was a replication of the Moses Mabhida council inauguration where the meeting was shut down.

“Election conveners left the venue, with the presiding officers misleading residents during the mayhem saying the meeting was cancelled and then continuing with just a few people left in the hall, only to once more elect an ANC-only committee with just one independent. So, the procedure was trampled upon during the session,” said Naidoo.

She said law enforcement was present but did nothing to stop the chaos as 300 people where chased out of the venue.

The EFF’s Siyabonga Jwara said although he could not say the ANC was at the centre of the disruption, the party is mostly concerned with the disregard of procedure.

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“There is a time frame for the election, and the presiding officer allowed for the processes to be flouted. This needs to be looked at by the speaker, and the municipality as it undermined the legitimacy of the election,” said Jwara.

eThekwini Municipality speaker Thabani Nyawose said he had not received any objections to the process of electing committee members in Umkomaas.

“There is a process to be followed if a member of the public has seen something contrary to what should have happened. An objection must be launched with the presiding officers, of which he or she is expected to deal with it on the spot. If a person is not happy, an objection can be elevated to my office,” said Nyawose.

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The Electoral Commission of SA’s Thabani Ngwira said the commission had decided against involvement in this year's committee elections as it was in the process of reviewing its policy.

“The commission is currently reviewing its policy on the management of elections outside of the elections of legislative bodies as defined in the commission’s legal mandate.

“In the interim, a moratorium has been issued against the involvement of the commission staff in any other elections, except in cases where prior commitment to assist is already in place,” said Ngwira.

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