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IEC: Instances of intra-party conflict & violence have been worse this year

IEC’s vice-chairperson Terry Tselane says this year’s seen the worst intra-party conflict and violence yet.

Disgruntled residents in Orange Farm have demolished the Al Taweed voter registration station in Orange farm. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says instances of intra-party conflict and violence have been worse this year, compared to previous elections.

The IEC has launched its Western Cape results centre at Century City.

It says it's ready for the local government elections and is fully prepared for any eventuality, including possible violent protests.

The IEC's vice-chairperson Terry Tselane says this year's seen the worst intra-party conflict and violence yet.

"This year we've experienced quite a number of incidences where, within political parties, there were conflicts that we've no' experienced in the past."

Tselane says the commission will look into addressing this problematic phenomenon going forward. The IEC is also preparing for any possible disruptions on voting day.

The Drakenstein Municipality has been identified as a hotspot for large-scale violent protests and Saps and the military will be on special deployment duty should the need arise.

Langa, Du Noon, Mbekweni and Oudtshoorn are some of the areas that have been identified as possible service delivery protest hotspots.

KZN LEADS THE WAY WITH MORE KILLINGS

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) said it's alarmed that a quarter of eligible voters are willing to resort to violence.

This is according to the 2015 South African Reconciliation Barometer survey.

KwaZulu-Natal has seen more than a dozen politically motivated killings in recent weeks in the run up to the local government polls.

The 2015 South African Reconciliation Barometer shows almost half of South Africans feel out of touch with government institutions such as Parliament, while two thirds believe elected leaders do not care about their plight.

The IJR's Jan Hofmeyer said what's most disturbing is that a quarter of all respondents have used or show a need to engage in violence to achieve political objectives.

In the past few months, KwaZulu-Natal has been the scene of several political killings, the majority being African National Congress candidate councillors.

Hofmeyer said voter apathy is also very high, as South Africans appear to be losing faith in politicians faster than ever before, with 48 percent feeling their vote doesn't make a difference.

Click here for EWN's feature tracking the political violence hot spots.

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