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Isipingo residents block off the main road with burning tyres in protest for a recount of votes

SAPS and Metro police officers at a protest in Isipingo yesterday. Disgruntled residents burnt debris and blocked the main road in the area as they said they want a recount of votes in the local government elections in ward 90. The ward was won by the DA. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

SAPS and Metro police officers at a protest in Isipingo yesterday. Disgruntled residents burnt debris and blocked the main road in the area as they said they want a recount of votes in the local government elections in ward 90. The ward was won by the DA. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Nov 9, 2021

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DURBAN - DISGRUNTLED residents in Isipingo ward 90 burnt tyres and closed off the main road yesterday because they were not happy with the outcome of the local government elections.

The protesting residents said the elections were not fair and accused the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) of not having a proper system in place. The ward, which was won by the DA’s Shad Nowbuth, was previously held by the ANC.

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Siphumelele Makhathini, a resident, said the problem started when some residents who had been voting in the area were told to go and vote in areas they had left several years ago.

“Some people could not vote at all because the system said they had already cast their vote. There was foul play with the votes at the Lotus Civil Hall voting station, that is where the problem is,” she said.

Makhathini said they were not fighting any political party; they just wanted the IEC to recount the votes.

“We need to be given a chance to vote again or the IEC must recount the votes at Lotus Civil Hall. We saw that something fishy was happening,” she said.

A resident who did not want to be named said she could not vote in the area although she was registered to vote at Isipingo.

“When I went to vote on election day I was told to go and vote at Harding. This was strange to me because I had registered to vote, I also voted here for the former ward councillor Sunil Brijmohan.

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“I am not the only person who had this problem, my neighbours also did not vote because of this and we have been living here for 11 years,” she said.

KwaZulu-Natal IEC spokesperson Thabani Ngwiri said if Isipingo residents had launched a formal complaint their grievances would have been attended to.

“In terms of whether there could be a recount of the votes, that would be the commission’s decision,” he said. The DA condemned the protest. “Initial reports indicate that the protests are designed to make ward 90 ungovernable since the ANC lost the ward to the newly elected DA councillor Shad Nowbuth.

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“Not only does this criminal action disrespect democracy and the rule of law but it gravely affects pupils, workers, consumers and business owners,” said the DA.

The party also accused the ANC of destabilising communities across Durban because it could not accept defeat.

“Just like the violence of July 2021, the ANC is destabilising communities across Durban simply because they cannot accept the will of the electorate.

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“We call upon the SAPS to urgently intervene, to stop the protests and to pursue those involved,” said the DA.

The DA said it stood by councillorelect Nowbuth and would resist all efforts, criminal or otherwise, to remove him.

ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said that they were not aware of the protest.

“We were not even aware of that protest, last I checked there was no dispute formally launched by the ANC in regard to that ward,” he said.

KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said a group of 150 people embarked on a protest at 5.13am and blocked the road with tyres and stones.

However, the police responded to the scene and stabilised the situation.

SAPS and Metro police officers at a protest in Isipingo yesterday. Disgruntled residents burnt debris and blocked the main road in the area as they said they want a recount of votes in the local government elections in ward 90. The ward was won by the DA. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA) Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

SAPS and Metro police officers at a protest in Isipingo yesterday. Disgruntled residents burnt debris and blocked the main road in the area as they said they want a recount of votes in the local government elections in ward 90. The ward was won by the DA. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA) Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

SAPS and Metro police officers at a protest in Isipingo yesterday. Disgruntled residents burnt debris and blocked the main road in the area as they said they want a recount of votes in the local government elections in ward 90. The ward was won by the DA. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA) Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

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