Fears of election violence



July 7, 2016
Fears of election violence

Western Cape electoral officer Courtney Sampson.

IEC not confident that election protest violence will not intensify.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Western Cape fears that there will be more violence before the August 3 local government elections.

Western Cape electoral officer Courtney Sampson tells the Cape Argus: “We are really hoping that the violence won’t intensify, but our views are not very confident”.

Last week, two buses were stoned and set alight on the N2 in violence sparked by unhappiness over the ANC’s candidate lists.

Arsonists also attempted to petrol bomb the home of an ANC councillor in Khayelitsha last month.

Sampson said the levels of violence and damage to property could not be justified.

He says: “Because of the socio-economic desperation of some people, the level of politics at the moment has shifted. Politics has become an industry where people can get jobs. Politics has moved from ideology and principle, to the politics of economy.”

Protests had become a way for disgruntled party members to campaign before an election, adds Sampson.

And this is the longest voters roll ever in the Western Cape, there are more than three million residents registered to vote – more than in any other election to date.

Voters who will be working on election day or are physically unable to go to a voting station, have until Friday to apply for a special vote.

Special votes will be allowed at voting stations on August 1 and 2 between 8am and 5pm.

This excludes home visits for the disabled and infirm.

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