Alex Japho Matlala
The EFF has, since its inception, claimed it was in control of many wards in Limpopo. The party claimed it was the obvious alternative to the ANC.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Limpopo has blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for the its significant loss to the ANC in this week’s by-elections.
The party said yesterday the announcement by Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize that South Africa was effectively in the third wave, was the reason for the bad turnout of voters.
“Our people could not make it to the polls because they were scared of this deadly virus called Covid-19,” said EFF Sekhukhune regional secretary Lawrence Makola.
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“They were petrified that if they all come at once to the polling stations, they may attract this incurable disease. No one wants to die. No wonder the ridiculous turnout.”
According to the Limpopo Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), the voting turnout in several polling stations was low but it was “satisfied” the process was free and fair.
“The voter turnout in both Fetakgomo-Tubatse and Mogalakwena is below the national and provincial average,” IEC Limpopo electoral officer Nkaro Mateta said yesterday.
“There are several factors that contributed to the poor turnout.These include fear of the Covid-19 and internal challenges within political parties.”
She said the poor turnout was becoming a nightmare for the IEC and political parties.
“We hope this is not an indication of what we should expect in the national local government elections on 27 October.” She urged voters to register and vote in the local polls.
The ANC has shown opposition parties it is still has clout. The EFF has, since its inception, claimed it was in control of many wards in Limpopo. The party claimed it was the obvious alternative to the ANC to win in metros and cities and increase service delivery, including far-flung villages.
This was, however, yesterday brushed aside by the ANC in Sekhukhune.
ANC acting regional secretary Mathupe Tala said the EFF must learn from the ANC.
“You know what they say: don’t send a boy to do a man’s job. Instead of sending boys as contenders, they should have send good muscled men,” he said, adding the EFF was using Covid as a convenient excuse.
“After realising the turnout was poor, we embarked on door-to-door campaigns. At that time, the EFF was relaxed, snoring on the job.”