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IEC promises to reopen voting stations closed due to community unrest

30 October 2021 - 14:49
South Africans will go to the local polls on Monday.
South Africans will go to the local polls on Monday.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The Electoral Commission (IEC) assured voters it will reopen voting stations that were closed due to community unrest on Saturday, the first of two days of special voting for local government elections.

The IEC in the Eastern Cape confirmed that six voting stations in Nyandeni, Mdikane, Tylden, Kholweni, Matatiele and Entilinin had been closed due to service delivery protests.

In KwaZulu-Natal, eight stations were closed due to a protest over a dispute in traditional leadership in Mkhambathini Municipality.

Addressing the media on Saturday afternoon, IEC boss Sy Mamabolo said the commission would reopen the stations to ensure those who arrived to cast special votes were able to do so.

“Working together with the security services, we should be in a position to get voting going in those areas,” he said.

Mamabolo said in Mkhambathini communities were mobilising against the IEC process due to their unhappiness over a traditional leadership dispute.

“And even there, working together with the security forces we should be able to open those voting stations because there are people who have applied for special votes and those people are entitled to participate.”

Speaking at the national results operations centre in Pretoria, Mamabolo said other glitches on Saturday were weather related. Tents were blown away in North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng but Mamabolo said they had been re-erected.