How coalition candidate lost vote to become Tshwane speaker

The DA-led multi-party coalition’s disorderly behavior during the council session on Monday evening has resulted in their failure to take control of the City of Tshwane.

Kholofelo Morodi, a candidate from ActionSA, was expected to receive the backing of the coalition comprising the DA, her party, Freedom Front Plus, ACDP, and IFP, but was ultimately defeated by Mncedi Ndzwanana of the African Transformation Movement (ATM) in the race for the position of speaker of the city council.

Out of 211 votes cast, Ndzwanana received 105 votes and Morodi garnered 37.

However, due to a dispute that arose during the secret ballot vote, where two DA councillors revealed their choices, 69 votes were disqualified by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) after the voting process was deemed compromised.

The disputed ballots were isolated after the IEC declared that the voting was not conducted in a free and fair manner.

The coalition has subsequently lodged a formal objection to the IEC’s decision to disqualify the 69 votes which, according to them, were for Morodi.

Jacqui Uys, joint caucus chair, said: “The multi-party coalition has lodged a formal objection to the outcome of the election of the speaker of the Tshwane municipal council after the IEC classified 69 ballots cast for Morodi as ‘spoilt’.

“During the counting process the DA, ActionSA, and Freedom Front Plus party agents pointed to the fact that the 69 ballots clearly indicated the intention of voters.

“There was no confusion or ambiguity in the markings, neither were any ballots defaced.”

According to Uys, the IEC disqualified votes marked with numbers instead of crosses. However, she said the election regulator’s literature allows for marking with numbers.

“The IEC classified the 69 votes as ‘spoilt’ based on the fact that they were not marked with crosses but with numbers. Yet in the IEC’s own literature, one of the examples of a valid vote is one where the intention of the voter is indicated by the marking of a number.

“Had the 69 so-called ‘spoilt’ ballots not been discarded, the total result for councillor Morodi would’ve been 106 of the 211 ballots cast.”

Uys alleged that the IEC worked together with the EFF and ANC alliance to prevent Morodi from winning the election.

“We believe that IEC officials were under pressure by the ANC and the EFF to discard these ballots in order to ensure the election of their preferred speaker candidate.

“A previous round for voting had to be abandoned after ANC and EFF councillors stormed the voting area, grabbed a ballot box, and even took a ballot from a DA councillor.

“The multi-party coalition will be consulting attorneys to determine what remedy is available to us to ensure that the 69 ballots cast for Morodi are duly counted,” she said.

Who is Ndzwanana

Born on May 11 1974 in Mfundisweni, Eastern Cape, Ndzwanana has pursued higher education in multiple fields.

He holds a higher diploma in theology and leadership skills from St Mark’s Bible College in the UK, an N6 certificate in healthcare professional from Guilford College in the UK, and a senior certificate in counseling from St Mark’s College in the UK.

In April 2023, Ndzwanana is set to start a public sector management course at Oxford Bridge Academy.

Prior to this, he worked at Holicross Hospital in the UK as a healthcare professional and served in the South African Defence Force from 1998 to 2003.

Ndzwanana joined the ATM in 2018 and was elected as a proportional representative councillor in the City of Tshwane in 2021.

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