The Western Cape ANC has withdrawn the candidacy of its Ward 108 councillor, Rhoda-Ann Bazier, forcing the first by-election in the province since the municipal elections.
ANC provincial spokesman Jabu Mfusi told the Northern News that the councillor was being withdrawn because the party had blundered with the councillors list and registered her for the ward before the municipal elections on Wednesday August 3, even though she lives in Macassar.
He said the party faced a similar conundrum in Khayelitsha, where it had registered a ward councillor who lived outside the area. Now that councillor had refused to resign and could stand in the way of a by-election there, he said.
Encompassing Fountain Village, Fairdale and Mfuleni, Ward 108 will be contested again in a November by-election.
Mr Mfusi said the party was only removing her now because the move would have disrupted the process leading up to the elections.
He said the party remained confident of winning the ward, which Ms Bazier had won with 60 percent of the votes, because “the area is a strong base”. Ms Bazier said she had resigned as the ward councillor for the rightful candidate, yet to be announced, to be registered for the by-election. “For myself, negotiations to resign as a councillor were never an option,” she said.
“I was among the top on the PR (proportional representation) list. I was wrongly registered as ward councillor for Ward 108, but was on the PR list as number 5, hence I remain a councillor in the City of Cape Town,” she said.
The ANC retained the ward by 60.2 percent in the August elections – a nosedive from the 93.19 percent it received in 2011. The DA clinched 30.39 percent, while the EFF got 6 percent.
Barnard Josephs, the EFF’s provincial chairman, said the party had been told about the by-election by its branch at the weekend.
Shaun August, the DA’s metro chairman, said the party would stick to its guns and allow its candidate, Wilma Brady, to run again for Ward 108.
Trevor Davids, Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) provincial spokesman said it would be the first by-election in the city since the local government poll. He confirmed that Ms Bazier had been listed as both a PR and ward candidate.
Fountain Village resident Gary Newman said people in the area had not been told about the by-election yet. He said the ANC had won the ward previously but had not done a lot for the residents. Douglas Goldman said he did not follow politics and did not care who won, “because it was better under apartheid”.
In a statement yesterday morning Spetember 13, the IEC said 18 457 voters registered under Ward 108 would have to vote again after the councillor’s position became vacant.
“In terms of the Constitutional Court ruling of June 14 2016, the Electoral Commission is required to implement Section 16 (3) of the Electoral Act, which requires that voters’ rolls should contain the address of voters “where available”, for all by-elections following the 2016 Municipal Elections,” the statement read.
The Electoral Commission will therefore be urging registered voters to ensure their addresses are available and updated in the coming week via SMS, pamphlet drops and outreach activities in Ward 108.
All voting stations in the ward will be open this weekend Saturday September 17 and Sunday September 18 from 8am to 5pm to allow voters the opportunity to verify and update their registration and address details.
Special voting at voting stations as well as home visits will take place on November 8 between 8am and 5pm. Voters interested in casting a special vote can apply at their local IEC office during office hours from October 24 – 28.