Party agents belonging to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), of which party deputy president Floyd Shivambu is a part, threatened to stop the process of electing the Johannesburg mayor if councillors are not allowed to show the candidates they’ve voted for.
Shivambu got into a physical shoving match over the issue with security officers from the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).
This came after some party agents raised concerns about EFF councillors showing their ballot papers after voting. The IEC has ruled that all ticked ballot papers should be kept a secret.
However, EFF candidates have threatened to bring the whole process to a complete halt if their candidates are not allowed to show their ballot papers. They argue that it is their “democratic right”.
This is also possibly also a strong reaction to their allegation that an ANC member tried to bribe their members to change their votes on Monday.
“We cannot agree with that, it’s a personal choice. You can’t force people not to show their ballots,” shouted one EFF candidate.
All of this is notably different to how votes were cast during the vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma in parliament earlier this year.
Deputy National Assembly speaker Lechesa Tsenoli said the rules of parliament did not allow Members of Parliament (MPs) to vote through a secret ballot on issues such as an impeachment vote.
Opposition parties asked parliament’s presiding officers to allow MPs to vote secretly for the vote on whether Zuma should be impeached after the Constitutional Court’s finding that he broke his oath of office over the Nkandla scandal.
MPs ended up having to vote in the way they were instructed to by their political parties.
‘Arrest wanted criminal’
Meanwhile, councillors belonging to the EFF caused a stir in the Johannesburg council when they called for ANC member of the mayoral committee Dan Bovu to arrested.
Bovu, whom the EFF calls “a wanted criminal”, is accused of trying to bribe EFF councillors over the weekend to the tune of R500 000 so they would vote for the ANC during the election of the mayor of Johannesburg.
“Dan Bovu has been calling our councillors, offering them money to the value of R500 000 in exchange for them to vote with the ANC during the elections of the Johannesburg City Council tomorrow,” said the EFF.
The councillors said they had opened a case of corruption and bribery against Bovu at the Eldorado Park and Brixton police stations. On Sunday, Bovu denied all these allegations, and said he would sue the EFF for defamation. A lawyer’s letter from him to this effect has already surfaced.