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Postponed by-elections in Tlokwe a victory for independent candidates

Independent candidates say the Electoral Court judgment that postponed the Tlokwe by-elections in the six of the seven wards, is a victory for them, and a lesson for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

They believe the IEC has been failing to run the elections properly in the past 22 years.

The IEC was taken to court after independent candidates argued that the institution disregarded the orders of the Constitutional Court that said it must provide addresses for the more than 4000 registered voters.

Spokesperson for the independent candidates, David Kham says, “For so many years, they have been running elections, but they needed to know today, how elections ought to be run in this country. We are very proud today, with this judgment again, we’ll go a long way to defend and defuse all potential or actual electoral corruption, electoral fraud, that has been taking place in the past 20 years or so.”

Kham, in a celebratory mood, maintains that the IEC has failed to correctly interpret the ruling of the ConCourt.

The IEC said initially that the court only ordered it to provide addresses for people who were registered after the November 2015 ruling.

However, it seems the Electoral Court saw it otherwise.

The IEC provincial electoral officer Dr Tumelontle Thiba says they will have to study the court ruling first.

“The judgment is still being considered. So, it will not be prudent for me to second-guess what step will be taken from here,” says Thiba.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes this will limit any further wrongdoing in a far as the elections are concerned.

Tlokwe constituency head Juanita Terblanche says, “I think it’s going to be very difficult for the IEC in the future, or any party, especially with the local government registrations on the 5th and 6th of March, to allow for any funny business to happen, because from now on, you’ll have to have proof of address, when you register.”

Terblanche says it is going to be a very heavy task on the IEC to make sure this happens.

The African National Congress (ANC) has welcomed the decision of the court, but says it is ready to contests ward 13, the only ward where elections will take place on Wednesday.

The ANC provincial elections co-ordinator Matthew Wolmarans says, “After receiving the court order the ANC is compliant to that order as the IEC should also. We are ready for our elections. Our forces are on the ground, they are ready for a victorious win over our opponents.”

– By Itumeleng Kgajane

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