By-elec­tion can­di­date’s home at­tacked

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - MUR­RAY SWART STAFF RE­PORTER

WITH res­i­dents in Uping­ton sched­uled to visit the polls to­mor­row, an at­tack on the home of one of the can­di­dates in this week’s Ward 4 by-elec­tion has re­sulted in crim­i­nal charges be­ing laid, while a for­mal com­plaint has also been lodged with the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) amidst al­leged threats of phys­i­cal vi­o­lence.

In a state­ment is­sued on Fri­day, the DA in the

North­ern Cape con­firmed that it was tak­ing le­gal ac­tion against

ANC sup­port­ers who al­legedly at­tacked the home of its can­di­date for the up­com­ing bal­lot in Ward 4, An­de­line

Ghafoor.

“The in­ci­dent hap­pened only an hour af­ter the DA re­fused to sign off on the vot­ers roll due to an ob­jec­tion re­gard­ing the names of more than 824 vot­ers which had not been cor­rected,” said DA pro­vin­cial chair­per­son, Harold McGluwa.

“ANC sup­port­ers hurled bricks at Ghafoor’s house, us­ing of­fen­sive lan­guage and threat­en­ing her and her fam­ily.”

The at­tack on the home re­sulted in a crim­i­nal charge of in­tim­i­da­tion be­ing laid, while the DA has also lodged a for­mal com­plaint with the IEC af­ter al­legedly ex­pe­ri­enc­ing fur­ther threats by ANC mem­bers.

“The ANC’s dis­rup­tive tac­tics and in­tim­i­da­tion of our mem­bers and pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives goes against the very spirit of free and fair elec­tions. The ANC’s poor be­hav­iour also points to an in­creas­ingly des­per­ate ANC that is will­ing to cross the line to stay in power.”

McGluwa fur­ther called on the var­i­ous po­lit­i­cal par­ties to work to­gether on cre­at­ing a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for vot­ers to prac­tice their demo­cratic right to vote for their party of choice.

The spokesper­son for the ANC in the North­ern Cape, Naledi Gaet­sewe, said that the party had not re­ceived any re­ports about the in­ci­dent.

“We see these al­le­ga­tions by the DA as noth­ing but a tac­tic used to de­lay the in­evitable,” she said. “Our mem­bers have prac­tised high lev­els of dis­ci­pline through­out all by-elec­tions in the Prov­ince and this by-elec­tion is no ex­cep­tion.

“We are con­fi­dent that we will win this ward and there­fore have no rea­son to in­tim­i­date any other po­lit­i­cal party.”

Gaet­sewe added that prepa­ra­tions for the by-elec­tion were go­ing very well, with vol­un­teers and party agents work­ing tire­lessly to en­sure vic­tory.

“Our vol­un­teers have en­sured that they once again get in con­tact with the vot­ers in that com­mu­nity in Ward 4, who have ex­pressed that their only hope lies in the ANC.”

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