By Lungani Zungu
Chaos broke out early on Wednesday when EFF members blocked the entrance of Karina Secondary School in ward 28 in Msunduzi during the hotly-contested by-elections.
A scuffle broke out between the EFF and the ANC inside the voting station when the red berets accused voters of flouting the rules by discussing how they would be voting.
Police broke that up, but a handful of red berets then blocked the entrance, claiming the by-elections in that voting station were riddled with glaring irregularities.
Once again, blows were nearly exchanged between the red berets and ANC members who wanted to enter and cast their votes, but police quickly intervened.
“Some people unashamedly flouted rules, which is why we decided to block the entrance of the voting station until this was rectified,” EFF member Sthabiso Mkhize told Scrolla.Africa.
Mkhize said for voters to discuss their vote inside the voting station was against the Independent Electoral Commission’s rules.
More than 9,000 people were registered to vote in ward 28, according to the IEC, making it the most fiercely contested by-election. The ward went up for grabs after the DA terminated the membership of its ex-councillor Lucky Naicker, who contested the ward as an independent candidate.
Earlier in the day, the DA accused the ANC Msunduzi Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla of dishing out food parcels to sway the voters to vote for the party.
Thebolla, also ANC chairperson in the Moses Mabhida region, was seen handing over food parcels to a resident ahead of the by-elections.
Meanwhile, in ward 9, there was singing and ululation by IFP and EFF members during the by-election in Mtubatuba where the ANC was barred from fielding a candidate after the party failed to pay the registration fee on time.
The ANC’s eleventh-hour ill-fated bid to field a candidate in the by-elections in ward 9 yielded no results after the Electoral Court dismissed its application to field a candidate.
The Mtubatuba Local Municipality is currently controlled by an IFP-EFF coalition, with the IFP’s Mxolisi Mthethwa as mayor.
The IEC said more than 4,000 registered voters were expected to trek to the voting stations in ward 9, which closed at 9pm.
Ntombifuthi Masinga, the KZN provincial electoral officer, told Scrolla.Africa that the by-elections have flowed smoothly without any serious incidents of confrontations.
The official results are expected to be released on Thursday.
Initially, three by-elections were expected in KwaZulu-Natal: in Dannhauser, Mtubatuba, and Msunduzi.
However, the by-elections in Dannhauser were postponed to 8 March following an objection over the voters’ roll.
Pictured above: EFF members clashed with their ANC counterparts during voting in the Msunduzi by-election
Image source: Supplied