KwaDukuza Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal is facing criminal case of electoral fraud charged by the Democratic Alliance (DA).
It is alleged that a ward in KwaZulu-Natal’s KwaDukuza Local Municipality allowed special voters, mainly the pensioners, to vote twice during the local government election that took place in August 3.
The pensioners allegedly cast a special vote and then went on to vote again on the Election Day with the help of election officials who were actively involved with the African National Congress in the region.
Receiving this information, the DA’s Thokozani Gumede – a proportional representative councilor in the municipality- opened a criminal case of electoral fraud at the KwaDukuza Police Station while the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) both lodged complaints with the Electoral Commission (IEC) over the events that transpired in Ward 1 of KwaDukuza (formerly Stanger) in the days leading up to the election and on election day itself.
This was confirmed by a KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane, who said that a case of electoral fraud had been opened against the ANC. He said:
“A case in terms of the Electoral Act is being investigated by detectives at the KwaDukuza police station. We cannot reveal further information as the matter is still under investigation. No arrests have been made, investigations are continuing.”
Gumede, who was also a candidate in Ward 1, said he filed a case against the ruling party after it was discovered that IEC volunteers — who are allegedly ANC office bearers – allowed the pensioners to vote on August 2 for their special votes and then again on August 3 at one of the four polling stations in the ward.
He also claimed that a traffic officer, who he described as a the grandson of one of the pensioners (who voted twice), picked the pensioners up in Ndimande’s car and “ferried them to the polling station” on August 3 to vote again.
The pensioners received no indelible ink marks on their thumbs and did not have their fingerprints taken when casting their special votes, retorted Gumede who also added that one of the pensioners has allegedly made a statement to the police about voting twice.
“Meanwhile, the elections at Sokesimbone Hall (a polling station in Ward 1) were entirely conducted by members, so-called IEC officials, related to ANC regional executive committee member Bernard Mthombeni, who is also an Ndimande ally,” Gumede said.
Furthermore, the DA candidate for the ward revealed the names of the ANC branch office bearers who were employed as IEC officials on the election days to include:
- Ntobe Mthiyane (chairperson of the ANC youth league in Ward 1)
- Cabangani Mtshali (Deputy chairman)
- Vincent Mathaba (a well-known party campaigner in the ward prior to elections)
- Thabitha Panhela (an ANC campaigner)
- Fakazile Danise (ANC branch treasurer)
Gumede also said:
“Ndimande has been a councillor since the transition period (of 1996) following the untimely death of his brother, Lucky Ndimande. Scores of dissatisfied ANC members and community members alike have tried to have him removed but their grievances were apparently ignored by the ANC in KwaDukuza and the ANC’sKZN Provincial Executive Committee.”
However, the KwaZulu-Natal chief electoral officer, Mawethu Mosery claimed not to be aware of the electoral fraud allegations but pointed out that the parties were late in lodging their complains as they failed to do so on or before 5pm on August 5.
“There is very little we can do now,” he said, referring to the election outcome, adding that the names of the officials could have been submitted to the party liaison committees at the time of appointing election officials for the various polling stations.
He said that there would be “election reviews” held at every municipality to look back at the elections, to determine what had gone wrong and what could be improved for the next elections.