The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is in high spirits after the Electoral Court ruled that a by-election in Umtubatuba would be re-run following a ruling in its favour.
Provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu on Thursday said that preceding the Ward 4 by-election in the IFP-run area on May 23, the party had lodged objections with the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) concerning voter registration in the ward.
She said high registration numbers in a nearby ward had raised the suspicion of the ANC. The party also noted that some addresses could not be verified.
The ANC's legal team applied for an interdict to stop the by-election, based on these seemingly fraudulently registered voters.
The Durban High Court ruled against the ANC, saying that the court should have been approached a week before.
"The ANC was disappointed that the court ruled against our application while there was clear evidence of electoral malpractice which had been confirmed by the IEC."
ANC wants legal action taken against IFP
The Electoral Court found in favour of the ANC on Tuesday. The IEC will now have to set a date for the re-run of the by-election, likely to be in 2019.
"The ANC is pleased that the Electoral Court, having read our papers and considered the matter, has finally ordered that the by-election in Umtubatuba Ward 4 is set aside in terms of section 65 of the Local Government Municipal Electoral Act number 27 of 2000."
She added: "As the ANC we believe that the re-run of the by-election, as ordered by the court, will enable the people of Ward 4 to exercise their rights and vote for their candidate of their choice in free and fair elections."
Simelane-Zulu called on the IEC to take legal action against the IFP and called for the erroneously elected councillor to pay back their salary to the municipality.
"Our message as the ANC is that we will never rest until we eradicate any illegal interference with the voting process. We don't want vote-rigging to become a permanent feature of our democracy.