Election of Rustenburg Speaker stalls as councillors reject ballot papers
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Rustenburg - Ballot papers for the election of the Speaker of the Rustenburg city council were discarded as drama continues to unfold at the inaugural council meeting on Monday.
Opposition councillors objected to the ballot papers, claiming their right to a secret ballot was compromised because the ballot papers were numbered, meaning it would be easy to detect who voted for who.
They argued that this was possible because municipal manager Victor Makona used the attendance register as the voters roll and the was no need to put numbers on the ballot papers.
Makona suggested that a scissor be used to cut out the number on the ballot paper, but councillors objected.
After a lengthy debate, it was resolved that all the ballot papers should be regarded as spoilt and re-start the voting process.
The drama started when the ANC requested a caucus soon after three councillors were nominated for the position of Speaker. When the ANC returned, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also requested a caucus.
The three candidates who have been nominated for the position were Koketso Mogomotsi from the ANC, Laun Snyders from the DA and Sharon Letlape from the Economic Freedom Fighters.
Rustenburg is one of three hung municipalities in the North West. The other two were JB Marks and Lekwa-Teemane.
The ANC won 43 seats in Rustenburg out of the 90-council seats. The party received 46.74% of the votes, failing to win an outright majority for the second time.
The ANC previously controlled the municipality through a coalition arrangement with Botho Community Movement, a community-based organisation from Boitekong, which won one seat, and the African Independent Congress, which also won one seat.
It was not immediately known on Monday which small parties would vote with the ANC.
The EFF had won 17 seats, DA 13, Tsogang Civic Movement seven seats, Freedom Front Plus three seats, Forum 4 Service Delivery, the African Christian Democratic Party, United Democratic Movement, African Independent Congress, Arona, Botho Community Movement, and an independent candidate each won one seat in the November 1 municipal election.
The ANC said in a statement that former Rustenburg Speaker Sheila Mabale Huma was the party mayoral candidate for Rustenburg.