The Independent Electorial Commission of SA (IEC) said on Monday the violence-torn town of Vuwani would see a by-election within three months after the elected African National Congress (ANC) candidate in Ward 3 of the new Limpopo municipality died.
“We already have a by-election scheduled for the new municipality because of the ANC candidate who passed away … (it is) unfortunate that the person passed on when the candidate nomination process was confirmed,” provincial electoral official Nkaro Mateta said on Sunday evening.
This means that the IEC could be heading for another tough polling day in Vuwani, after residents tried to prevent voting there last Wednesday, blocking roads and locking officials out of voting stations.
According to the Municipal Electoral Act, when a councillor dies, a by-election must be held within 90 days to elect another.
Vuwani has been the scene of violent protests for months because residents oppose a decision to re-dermarcate it from Makhado to Malamulele.
On election day, police and army reinforcements had to be brought in to the area to ensure voting took place.
“We hope that the people of Vuwani have learned lessons because they have been committing electoral offences without noticing that they are committing electoral offences,” Mateta said.
Turnout was low in Vuwani and more than 40 000 ballots were spoiled as residents continued their protest over the demarcation issue.
– African News Agency (ANA)