soweto by-elections eff anc

Photo: PowerFM

EFF accuse ANC of disrupting Gauteng by-election voting stations

ANC members have blocked roads in Naledi, Soweto, apparently in a bid to prevent voters from partiipating in local by-elections

soweto by-elections eff anc

Photo: PowerFM

“Voter fraud” is a particularly hot buzzword at the moment, specifically in the United States and on Twitter where allegations of interference in elections has current President Donald Trump tweeting in all caps and at increasingly frequent intervals. 

But the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have suggested that voter suppression and the like also happens in places like South Africa, after they alleged on Wednesday that members of the African National Congress have instigated an “illegal and violent” closure of voting stations in Naledi Soweto. 

By-elections disrupted in Soweto  

Residents in Gauteng have heard to the pols on Wednesday to take part in the country’s largest ever by-elections. Voting takes place on a single day with 107 seats are up for grabs in 95 wards. More than 400 candidates are contesting in 55 municipalities across the country.

But in Soweto, it has been alleged that a group people wearing ANC shirts stormed voting stations in Ward 130 and forced them to close, leaving the EFF seething.

“The EFF condemns members of the ANC who are instigating the illegal and violent closure of voting stations in Naledi, Soweto. It is a fact that in Ward 130, two voting stations were violently shut down by groups of people led by ANC T-shirts wearing hooligans,” they said in a statement. 

ANC protestors block roads

Protestors blocked roads and began burning tires, making it near impossible for residents to access the by-election voting stations. Gauteng Premier David Makhura has visited Naledi this afternoon, along with the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said that officers are on scene to ensure that the area is safe for voters.

“The roads have been barricaded with rocks and burning tires. JMPD officers are on scene engaging with residents to allow people to vote while the community waits for Eskom and provincial officials to address their issues,” he said.

“We call on the police to protect people’s rights to vote,” said the EFF. “They must act decisively by arresting ANC agent-provocateurs who are blocking roads and violently shutting down voting stations. People who do this must be arrested, trialled and put to jail.”

Electricity complaints central concern for Naledi residents

They said that due to the community of Naledi having seen its electricity supply frequently disrupted under ANC rule for over six months, ANC constituents and officials in the province would prefer to suppress the by-election voter turnout on Wednesday.

“Local ANC activists are aware that should voting not be disrupted, voters will not return ANC to office. As a result, they campaign that voting should only happen once electricity has been restored.” 

“This is a dishonest and crimina strategy they use so that they will be able to claim electricity reconnection as a victory of ANC service delivery. We condemn this as both a violation of people’s constitutional rights and pure criminality.”