A wounded combatant is carried off by his comrades during a clash between ANC and IFP members in KwaMashu in April 1994.

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal has yet to pass the “acid test” of holding an election without politically-motivated deaths, premier Senzo Mchunu said on Wednesday.

While the conflicts were no longer on the scale of that of the 1990s in which thousands of people died, especially in the conflict between the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party, the province had yet to hold an election without politically-motivated killings.

“That one (test) we haven't passed. A woman was chopped to death in her own home while asleep, with an axe in front of her kids,” he told a multi-party conference intended to improve political tolerance.

Mchunu said the attack had taken place a few days ago in ward four of the uMshwathi local municipality. He did not say which party she belonged to.

An ANC supporter was killed in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the same ward.

“We were actually of the view that we could actually get to a point where we have no blood,” he said.

It emerged at the conference that KwaZulu-Natal's election poster wars were at their lowest level ever.

According to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), the run-up to the current election had so far seen the least number of complaints received about the removal and defacing of political posters.

IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula told the conference: “This time around we have (so far) had very few complaints, if any complaints.”

The country is set to go to the polls on May 7.

Tlakula said political party leaders were abiding by the electoral code of conduct.

“The problem is down on the ground,” she said.

KwaZulu-Natal chief electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said 18 political parties were contesting the election in the province and there were about 5.1 million voters.

On average, about 63 000 votes would secure one seat in the 80 seat provincial legislature.