The Electoral Commission of South Africa in KwaZulu-Natal has roped in the police to investigate allegations that one of its presiding officers was on Sunday allegedly caught committing electoral fraud.
According to the commission in the province, the unnamed presiding officer was allegedly caught stuffing marked ballots into a ballot box.
It was not immediately clear which party the officer was trying to aid by committing the alleged offence and whether he has been relieved of his or her crucial role.
“In Ward 93, Kusakusa Primary School, in Mbumbulu area in eThekwini Metro Municipality, a presiding officer was allegedly discovered by party agents, stuffing marked ballot papers into a ballot box. This remains an allegation and SAPS are still investigating. Members of the media will be updated as soon as the full report is received from SAPS,” the commission said yesterday.
The first electoral official to be convicted (for five years) for electoral fraud post-1994 was Sindisiwe Ncube of Ulundi. In the 2009 general elections,Ncube was allegedly caught stuffing marked ballots and the ballots were allegedly in favour of the IFP.
Meanwhile, the commission in the province said despite challenges in uMdoni (Mzinto) municipality in the south of the province and Mkhambathini (Camperdown), most stations opened on time yesterday (Sun).
“The majority of voting stations were opened on time. The Mkhambathini Municipality matter reported yesterday (Saturday) where seven voting stations did not open due to a traditional leadership dispute in KwaNyavu Traditional Authority area, covering Ward 2, 3 and 5. The commission reported that voting stations are operating today under close monitoring by the SAPS.
“SAPS have reinforced their presence in the area and operations in voting stations have resumed,” the commission said. In the volatile uMdoni municipality, the commission said due to unrest in the area, some voting stations were not opened at all.
“The situation in uMdoni Municipality, where the commission reported that two of the five voting stations in ward six did not open at all because of community unrest in the area, these remain closed as SAPS attempts to restore stability in the area.
“A total of 36 home visits are yet to be administered in the area. The most affected voting station is Isulabasha Combined Primary School in Ward 6. The commission remains hopeful that voting station officers will be able to visit all homes that need to be visited to conduct special votes. Voting station staff that have completed their assigned special votes are being redirected in areas with pending home visits.”
In the 2019 general elections, uMdoni was a violent hot spot as the community of Stick Farm closed voting stations and prevented electoral officials from accessing them. When armed police eventually restored calm, the community boycotted the elections, opting not to vote, saying their area remains underdeveloped yet they have been voting since 1994.
In anticipation of disruptions and unrest, on Monday the Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that more than18 000 police officers have been deployed across the province, with the focus on hot spot areas like eThekwini, Nongoma, Ulundi, KwaDukuza (Stanger) and Newcastle.
Cele, who was speaking in Durban when deploying the SAPS battalion, said out of the 272 identified hot spots in the entire country, a majority of them are in KwaZulu-Natal, hence the special focus.
He said in areas like KwaDukuza and eThekwini, some councillor candidates have survived assassination attempts while other candidates are in hiding, fearing for their lives.
Cele said the SAPS officers should be ready to remove any threat that could impede the voting process. He was emphatic to the police that their role was to assist the commission to stage free, fair and credible elections and not to take over the process. Cele stressed that while South Africans have a right to protest any time they wanted to, they must not block those who wanted to vote or block police stations and if that happened, the police should intervene.
Malema Accuses Ramaphosa Of Hiding More Billions
Julius Malema, LEADER of the EFF has alleged that South African’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has hidden in rand undeclared money in his other properties other than Phala Phala farm.
Addressing some party students faithful at the 4th Students Assembly held in Birchwood, Boksburg, on Saturday, the outspoken leader accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of keeping billion of money.
“There are millions more that is being kept under mattresses in other residences. There is still Soweto. There is still Venda. There is still Cape Town and there is still Mpumalanga where monies are stored under mattresses.
We asked the question in Parliament how much is left in these properties because we are talking about one property. All these properties have got money stored,” Malema said.
According to Malema, the ANC party is full of dishonest people who continue to protect Ramaphosa even after they failed to pay ANC workers salaries.
Mr Julius Malema opined that instead of keeping the billions, Ramaphosa could have used the money to pay off the salaries of the ANC workers which has been delayed since some part of 2021.
“To show that the ANC is constituted by sick people they still call such a person their president while they were starving for six months last year as the workers have been working with no salary. Cyril’s conscience does not even say let me take a bit here for the ANC and find a way of giving them a salary …we are talking about billions. He does not have sympathy for those workers who work for his party while he is sleeping on top of billions,” he said.
Over the past few weeks there have calls for President Cryil Ramaphosa to resign amidst growing number of demonstrations.
Meanwhile, EFF leader has said the EFF was in consultation with other opposition parties to bring the country to a standstill with a possible shutdown against Ramaphosa’s failing administration.
“We are in consultation with everyone and we have reached a point where we no longer care. This man must go. We will remove him whether he likes it or not. So when we call for the mother of all shutdowns, every campus must come to a standstill.
Not only students, including workers themselves. We are not going to teach. We are not going to clean. We are not going to manage. We are going to defend South Africa against gangsters because South Africa has been captured by gangsters,” Malema told the students.
JUST IN: Oscar Mabuyane Wins Eastern Cape ANC Elections
The Eastern Cape provincial chairperson position has been retained by Oscar Mabuyane.
Oscar Mabuyane faced a s tiff competition from former provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela.
Mr Mabuyane had 812 votes while his rival obtained 662 cast in a heavily contested election.
Meanwhile, Mlungisi Mvoko was elected as the deputy chairperson.
The national chairperson Gwede Mantashe address the ANC members at its conference which began on Saturday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa was supposed to deliver the closing remarks on Sunday, but this was moved to Monday after delays.
The governing party used Sunday to deal with the issue of credentials and planned to complete the conference on Monday.
On Sunday until of some of the branch delegates were adopted, the party was stuck on the question of credentials for hours.
More than 1 300 eligible voting delegates participated in electing the five leaders to lead the province and the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).
The battle for control of the party had been intense with both sides pushing hard for their candidates.
ANC NEC deployee Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said “The issues there were about the authority of the court about Rubusana.”
According to him, they had to attend to some serious issues raised at the conference.
This related to the judgment on Saturday that rejected an urgent application by some of the members to exclude some of the branches from the Dr BW Rubusana region.
Motsoaledi said this was one of the sticking points but the conference eventually forged ahead.
Ramaphosa, Xi Jinping Call For End Of War In Ukraine
President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have expressed concern about the situation in Ukraine and called for an end to the conflict.
This follows a telephone discussion between Xi and Ramaphosa on Friday.
Xi is the alternate leader that Ramaphosa has verified he has spoken to after the conflict erupted in Ukraine.
A week ago he took a call from Russian chairman Vladimir Putin, and during the question and answer session in the public council this week, Ramaphosa said Putin had emphasised the issue of accommodations to chancing a result.
On Friday he said he’d held analogous addresses with Xi. The chairman also said this week he’d been asked to intervene in Ukraine.
He called for an end to the conflict, saying durable peace was demanded in Ukraine. Ramaphosa had said it would be wrong to simply condemn one side and prompted both parties to come to the negotiating table.
The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has also been prompted to play a commanding part in ending the conflict. Ramaphosa this week also called for the reform of the UN Security Council.
Ramaphosa said it was wrong that for a mainland like Africa, with a population of1.3 billion people, it doesn’t have a endless seat in the security council.
JUST IN: Mbali Ntuli Is The Latest Black Leader To Resign From DA
Mbali Ntuli has joined a growing list of prominent black leaders who have left the Democratic Alliance in recent times after she blazoned her abdication from the party on Thursday.
In a statement, Ntuli verified she proffered her abdication as a member of the DA and member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.
According to her, her decision to quit was not easy, “but one that is necessary for my growth as a community leader”.
The former DA Youth leader who made her bournes clear when she, also Gauteng leader John Moody and John Steenhuisen challenged each other for the public leader position in the last optional conference.
She has frequently spoken out against the DA’s leadership and programs, substantially criminating it of being ineffective and lacking.
In a letter publicizing her intention to dispute the position of party leader, Ntuli noted there were major issues defying the party and its leadership.
She said the party had lost benefactors “ who no longer believe in us”, throwing the DA into a fiscal extremity and as a result, there wasn’t enough backing for constituencies to do political conditioning.
In 2020, Ntuli wrote an open letter named “ Interposers and Outlanders The politicisation of our DA correctional processes”, where she recalled how at some point, the party’s top brass wanted to expel her using bogus charges.
President Cyril Ramaphosa Pleads With UN To Intervene In Russia-Ukraine Conflict
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the intervention of the UN Security Council in the conflict in Ukraine, saying it was not necessary for people to be killed when there was an option of engagement.
Ramaphosa told a litigation forum on Friday that the UN had to intervene to stop the war in the Ukraine.
Russia launched attacks on Ukraine this week.
But it has been condemned by Western countries who have also sent thousands of troops on the eastern flank in Europe.
Ramaphosa said the UN cannot keep quiet when there were options available to stop the conflict.
He said through negotiation, mediation and engagement what is going on in Ukraine could be stopped.
He said people have been killed and infrastructure damaged.
“This mediation approach seems to be losing its effectiveness. We can see now the war that is going on in the Ukraine, I would say that that conflict is a conflict that should be subjected to mediation, to negotiation, to engagement, because it is not necessary for people to go to war, for getting people killed, infrastructure being damaged as it is now, and it behoves on countries of the world, particularly the UN Security Council.
“They are the ones who should be getting more and more engaged in a mediation and one does not see that happening. One does not see that full engagement, and it is this that should be happening to bring hostilities to an end,” said Ramaphosa.