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50 Malindza residents boycott

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image Former MP Joseph Souza being lifted by his supporters

MALINDZA- A change of a nomination centre at the eleventh hour resulted in over 50 residents of Siweni boycotting the nominations process.


Siweni is a tiny village near Mbadlane which falls under the Malindza chiefdom. The voters who boycotted were enraged after being told by election officers that the process was now going to take place at Othandweni Primary School and not Siweni Care Point, as earlier announced.
The agitated voters responded by rebuking election officers and other traditional leaders who were present.


Election officers tried to explain to the voters on why the venue was changed, but to no avail as voters began shouting on top of their voices.
Police officers present had to calm the situation as some voters angrily confronted election officers.


The situation was eventually calmed after it was explained to voters that transport would be availed for them to travel to Othandweni primary school.
However, over 50 voters insisted that they would not travel to Othandweni.
They resolved to boycott the nominations process.


“I am going home since I do not see the reason of travelling to Othandweni Primary. Why did they call us to come here? Now they are changing the venue,” said Bongani Ndwandwe.
Msumpe Mavuso said he smelt a rat in the manner in which the venue was changed.
“We used this centre for registration and we have been using the same centre in the past elections, why then are they forcing us to travel to Othandweni? I think there is something not going right here,” he said.


Attempts to get a comment from the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Public Relations Officer (PRO) Sabelo Dlamini hit a snag as his phone rang unanswered when called yesterday.
But, Returning Officer Nonkululeko Magagula said they had made a mistake by calling Siweni voters to the care point.


“We later realised that the care-point is only utilised for registration and also as a polling station hence we urged voters to go to Othandweni primary school, which is the legitimate centre for the nominations process,” she said.


Meanwhile, Malindza Chief Ndlondlo Tsabedze, who was found observing the nominations process at Othandweni primary school, said despite the misunderstanding, he was pleased with the manner in which the nominations process was conducted.

 

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