LOOK: Julius Malema slams ANC conduct in KZN, says he will report blocking incidents to IEC
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Durban - Unethical behaviour by some members of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal will not go unchallenged as EFF leader Julius Malema says he will report them to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) for breaching the electoral rules.
Malema said the upcoming local government elections on November 1 could not be certified free and fair if registered political parties were denied the right to visit stations to monitor the crucial democratic process of voter registration.
He made this undertaking while waiting outside Thandokuhle voting station at Willowfontein in Pietermaritzburg after unruly ANC members prevented him and his entourage from accessing the venue by locking it and violently blocking anyone from entering.
Video: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics
Prior to that, Malema had a tough time accessing other venues in the nearby township of Dambuza where ANC members also blocked him, but he was eventually able to push his way through.
“Yes, we will take this up with the IEC, we will take this up with the IEC, definitely,” Malema said when asked whether he would report the ANC or not.
The tense stand-offs happened at at least three voting stations, and at one station ANC members locked the gates. In one incident at Dambuza township, EFF members had to form a human shield around Malema and escort him to a voting station.
That pitted EFF members against ANC members who were trying to break the human shield and stop Malema. At one point, there was a brief exchange of blows and insults when EFF members took on members of the governing party for their unruly conduct.
Video: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics
Eventually, Malema left the station under the watchful eye of his bodyguards and went to another station at Willowfontein. As he was leaving the station, a man in ANC regalia tried to break the human chain and appeared to be trying to assault Malema, but he was overpowered by EFF members and pushed away.
The ANC members then mobbed the EFF members and followed them around the township. It was not immediately clear how the showdown ended.
During the tense stand-off at Willowfontein station, EFF secretary-general Marshal Dlamini tried to lead EFF members to break the blockade by ANC members, but failed.
After almost an hour of the stand-off, armed police arrived and called the leaders of both parties aside and brokered a deal that led to the opening of the gates, and Malema inspected the station and left.
Again, rowdy and angry ANC members mobbed Malema and his supporters as they were leaving the registration station.
The leader of the ANC branch in the area, Sibusiso Mkhize, said the reason their members were angry was that the EFF had allegedly bussed people to register in the ward and vote for a questionable candidate.
He also accused the EFF of engaging in unethical conduct. Independent Media cannot repeat the allegations as they are untested.
"The EFF was bringing people who don't live in this ward to register to vote for their dodgy candidates. Our people were just trying to stop that, nothing more, nothing less. They must stop projecting us as violent people because they know why we have closed the gates,“ said Mkhize.