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IEC condemns politically-motivated killing of party candidates

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it cannot lay a complaint against the African National Congress (ANC) at the Electoral Court ?over the political killings in KwaZulu-Natal. 

 

The electoral body says while it works to ensure a violent free election, the KwaZulu-Natal killings are complex. 

Over the past 4 months, 13 ANC members including ward candidates have been killed in the province.

?Khanyisile Ngobese, Sibisi, Bongani Skhosana, and Thembi Mbongo are among the ANC ward candidates who have been gunned down. 

However this does not stop the electorate from voting for deceased candidates. Come August the 3rd – their names and faces will be on ballot papers 
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?The IEC says the violence will not derail the elections but it has expressed “deep” concern over the issue. 
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The commission says ? it will continue to engage people in hot spots including Vuwani to allow the electorate to vote. This will ensure the IEC meets its target ?of getting 17 million South Africans to vote. This will include some 719, 000 special votes.

The Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal earlier said at least ten people had been shot dead in separate incidents in recent months. The attacks are classified as politically-motivated because they involve individuals whose names appear on their parties’ candidate lists. 

Provincial IEC chairperson Mawethu Mosery says political parties will continue to campaign for their identified candidates and people will have the option to vote for them. If a person who is deceased wins a ward in the August 3rd elections, a by-election will be held within 90 days. 

Mosery says they are in constant contact with security structures in the province to jointly plan for the election period. 

“We are extremely concerned by this. We have indeed had urgent meetings with the provincial government as well as the police to get insight on what is going on in these case of candidate killings. And we wish that we could do further voter education to say it does not help any one to kill candidates.”

The elections will go ahead without the NFP which is the fourth largest party in KwaZulu-Natal and the fifth biggest party nationally. 

The NFP was disqualified from contesting the local government elections after the party failed to pay the 490-thousand rand deposit to the IEC by the second of June deadline. 

Mosery says the NFP will still only contest the elections in eight wards in the Nquthu municipality.

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