Election officials separate national and provincial ballots as counting begins at a voting station in Embo, west of Durban. Picture: Rogan Ward

Durban -

KwaZulu-Natal had the highest number of spoilt votes.

With 51 831 spoilt votes, Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery joked on Friday that the numbers were more than enough for a political party to secure a seat in the provincial legislature.

KZN was followed by Gauteng with 41 638 spoilt votes.

However, it wasn’t all bad news for KwaZulu-Natal as the province also had the highest voter turnout with 75.98 percent.

Meanwhile, political analyst Protas Madlala last night sent out a warning to Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema to not rest on his laurels after the party’s resounding success in their first elections.

He said the fallen Cope and the EFF had much in common and the demise of the former should send a warning to the red berets.

“Cope started on such a high note and had all the struggle credentials… that should send a warning to the EFF,” he said.

Sell-by date

The (EFF) had nonetheless contributed to the election’s surprises by outperforming parties that had been around since 1994.

Madlala noted that in KwaZulu-Natal the elections had generally been free of violence. He said the Minority Front (MF) appeared to have reached its sell-by date and “belonged to the days of the House of Delegates and the House of Representatives”.

He said that no party would want to “lock itself into a race compartment” in the new South Africa.

“Indians rather want to be South African.”

Madlala’s sentiments were echoed by University of KZN politics lecturer Zakhele Ndlovu, who said the MF had died in 2011 with its founding leader Amichand Rajbansi.

Sthembiso Madladla, a political analyst at the Democracy Development Programme, said the reason why the IFP and the MF lost votes was that they did not have a clear message for their constituents and voters.

“The voters are saying we don’t see ourselves as Indians or Zulu or Xhosa. Voters are saying we are South African first, and the small minority parties don’t appeal to the new thinking of South Africans,” said Madlala.

He said the IFP was still regarded as a traditional Zulu party and the MF, without its late leader Rajbansi, did not stand a chance.

“The parties will gradually be faded out by voting,” said Madlala.

He said with the DA now the official opposition party in KZN, the province was joining the trend of the rest of the country and it would be an interesting period.