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By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

DA blames ANC for fires in Isipingo, as angry voters demand a recount

The DA won Isipingo with 41,98% of the votes, with the ANC getting 10 less of the vote than in 2016, at 35,81%.

Angry voters from Isipingo blocked roads and set tyres on fire on Monday, in response to the local government elections results, which showed the DA had won the ward for the first time.

The DA has in turn accused the governing party of “sponsoring protests” on the day newly elected ward councillor Shad Nowbuth was to start his first day on the job.

“The DA is deeply concerned about the anti-democracy protests in Isipingo today. ANC sponsored protestors blocked the northern and southern end of the main arterial road running through the Isipingo CBD,” said DA Durban South Constituency head Tim Bruteseth.

“Initial reports indicate the protests are designed to make Ward 90 ungovernable after the ANC lost the ward to newly elected DA ward councillor,” said Bruteseth.

Some residents are demanding a recount after picking up “irregularities” in the voting processes. The Witness in KZN reported that protestors alleged some Isipingo voting stations had varying numbers of ballot boxes.

Other reports say that some 300 voters were allegedly told their details were not on the system, and they could not vote.

The DA won Isipingo with 41,98% of the votes, with the ANC finishing second at 35,81%. This is 10% less than its 2016 vote percentage.

“Not only does this criminal action disrespect democracy and the rule of law, but also gravely affects scholars, workers, consumers and business owners alike,” said Bruteseth.

“Just like the violence of July 2021, the ANC is destabilising communities across Durban simply because they cannot accept the will of the electorate.”

Isipingo was one of the worst-hit areas during the July unrest that brought KZN to its knees. Supporters of former President Jacob Zuma embarked on violent looting sprees in protest of his incarceration for corruption.

Residents criticised police’s and the army’s slow response to distress calls at the height of the violence—the community’s marketplace and retail stores, which led to people hoarding fuel and other essential supplies.

“The DA stands by Nowbuth as the democratically elected ward councillor and will resist all efforts, criminal or otherwise, to remove him, vowed the party.

ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the party had not lodged an official dispute with the IEC and therefore couldn’t comment on what informed the protests in Ispingo.

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