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By-election not free and fair - court

By Mhlaba Memela | Jul 16, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has welcomed the electoral court's decision to set aside results of a by-election in Imbabazane municipality, Escort.

The ruling party and the IFP had contested the violence-marred election in Ward 3.

The IFP won most of the votes, but the ANC challenged the results. On Tuesday, the court in Bloemfontein declared the by-election invalid.

Judge Thumba Pillay ruled that it was clear many voters had been prevented from exercising their right to vote through intimidation, and had stayed away from the voting stations.

The ANC had submitted a 200-page document to the court, with 40 affidavits from witnesses claiming that the poll had not been free and fair.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the party had lodged a formal objection with the IEC and later with the electoral court to set aside the outcome of the by-election.

"We requested that the results be nullified in terms of Section 65 of the Local Government Municipal Electoral Act of 2000 on the basis that the by-election was not free and fair," he said.

The election was marred by intimidation, assaults, malicious damage to property and the stoning of police vehicles.

IFP leader Bonginkosi Buthelezi said his party would study the judgment and decide whether or not to appeal.


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