'Elections show our democracy maturing'

Mhlaba Memela

The head of the Independent Electoral Commission in KwaZulu-Natal, Mawethu Mosery, has applauded those involved in the election in the violence-prone province for ensuring that it passed off peacefully.

Sporadic violence in highly contested areas such as Nongoma and Msinga had sparked fears before voting day.

"The voters showed that democracy is maturing in the province as they cast their votes freely last week," Mosery said.

He said the provincial IEC had been pleased with the political parties' commitment to a peaceful election.

"There is room for improvement, for political parties to sing a message of tolerance," he said.

The IEC had received 71 complaints during the election, but none serious enough to affect the outcome.

"The complaints ranged from assaults to the damage of posters and the disruption of meetings.

"We had a successful election - everything was transparent, nothing was hidden. This happened because of the commitment shown by the provincial government."

Mosery said 47092 national and 43713 provincial votes had been spoilt in KwaZulu-Natal.