Call for peaceful elections

THE Independent Electoral Commission in KwaZulu-Natal is concerned that next year's local government elections in the province will not be peaceful.

The commission has appealed to church leaders to play a role in advocating peace to prevent conflict.

The elections are likely to be held in April or May. Provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said indications were that the elections "might not be without tolerance".

He said the current political situation in different political parties, characterised by infighting, was not conducive to "fair and stable elections".

"In KwaZulu-Natal, all wards will change and we have 152 more wards in the province due to an increased voterturnout. This means that there would be 4000 seats for councillors and 12000 people want to make it to those seats, creating possible internal political infighting between individuals in different political parties," Mosery said.

He said about 20 people died between 2008 and last year in incidents related to political violence.

"That is why we call upon church leaders to ensure there is stability. As churches, you must prevent conflict and not intervene when violence has erupted," he said.