Durban — Abantu Batho Congress leader Philani Mavundla has called on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in KwaZulu-Natal to act against Umvoti Local Municipal IFP councillor Bhojasi Dlamini for spraying a muthi-like substance (traditional herbs) at a polling station during a by-election on Tuesday.
According to Mavundla, Dlamini who is also the IFP chief whip in the municipality in Greytown, was caught red-handed at the polling station in Ward 2 openly practising witchcraft.
Mavundla, a former eThekwini deputy mayor and now a councillor in Greytown, said Dlamini’s actions constituted misconduct and violation of electoral policies since it may have scared voters who believe that muthi works.
Mavundla said people were already saying they would not want to enter the voting station where the muthi was used for fear of being choked.
In a 33- second video clip, Dlamini is seen outside the polling station walking around with what looks like a goat horn and a plastic bottle in his left hand. He is heard saying bathathe (take them head on).
Mavundla said the IEC must fumigate the station to weaken Dlamini’s muthi.
“As Africans, witchcraft is part of our culture and belief system so we cannot blame people if they fear entering the polling stations where the practice took place. We call on the IEC to consider taking action against the IFP councillor. Besides (there is) science to this, it was a scare tactic to discourage people from coming out to exercise their rights,” said Mavundla.
But Dlamini said he had to come and destroy ABC’s muthi after he was informed that it was Mavundla’s party that had sprayed muthi at the polling stations.
“It wasn’t muthi but holy water that has powers to weaken muthi,” said Dlamini.
IEC spokesperson in the province Thabani Ngwira said using muthi is not on the list of prohibited conduct in terms of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
On Tuesday, polling stations were opened for special votes for people living with disabilities and those with valid reasons who may not be able to vote on Wednesday.
The Ward 2 position in Matimatolo village became vacant after ANC councillor Mdu Ngcobo died in a car accident earlier this year which opened the ward for a by-election.
Mavundla is contesting the by-election alongside the IFP and EFF.
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