Nquthu – There have been no incidents of violence since the polling stations opened in Nquthu where the hotly contested by-election is currently taking place, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said on Wednesday.
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KZN IEC spokesperson Thabani Ngwira told News24 that the 116 polling stations opened on time, at 07:00.
“The voting stations are all opened and voting is proceeding well. No incidents have been reported so far,” Ngwira said.
The by-election follows the disbandment of the municipality’s council in February after it failed to elect its leaders, including the mayor, since the August 3 local government elections.
In that election the Inkatha Freedom Party won 15 seats, the African National Congress 14, the National Freedom Party two, and the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters one seat each.
Nquthu is the only municipality in the country without a mayor.
The by-election includes all 17 ward and 16 proportional representation (PR) council seats.
A total of 359 candidates (238 ward and 121 PR candidates) representing 14 political parties are contesting the election. The parties include the ANC, IFP, NFP, EFF, DA, and Black First Land First.
There were 81 085 registered voters in Nquthu, the IEC said.
Political parties had sent their bigwigs to campaign in Nquthu ahead of the election.
President Jacob Zuma, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, DA federal leader Mmusi Maimane and EFF’s Commander in Chief (CIC) Julius Malema campaigned for their parties.
Voting stations will close at 19:00.