tame Times Fresh Approach to local news

Tag: Elections

Cosatu Threatens Election Day Protests if E-toll Not Scrapped

The Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) says that the government cannot continue to ignore the failed e-toll system in Gauteng and that it needs to be scrapped immediately.

The union, which represents about 1.8 million workers in South Africa, has given the transport minister Fikile Mbalula until the end of September to announce that the government will scrap the system.

“In case (transport) minister Mbalula is not going to make an announcement favourable to our demands by the end of September, Cosatu in Gauteng will be left with no option but to protest on election day,” it said.

Elections are scheduled to take place on 27 October 2021 – however, court processes are currently underway to postpone the date again until 2022.

“The e-toll policy has failed. Motorists are not paying even when Sanral is giving discounts,” it said. The federation called on all motorists in Gauteng to continue not paying their e-tolls accounts in protest of the system.

The trade federation also slammed the deputy minister of transport Sindisiwe Chikunga for a weekend interview in which she indicated that motorists would need to honour their e-toll bills.

Chikunga told eNCA News that the scheme was no different from the taxes levied on South Africa’s roads since the 1700s and that these taxes were necessary for road infrastructure development.

While an official announcement is yet to be made, Chikunga said that South Africans would need to pay for the toll scheme one way or another.

“The deputy minister has exposed her limited understanding of the reasons behind the rejection of the road user-payer system in Gauteng,” Cosatu said, slamming the deputy minister’s comments as being ‘anti-poor.

“The roads that are tolled in Gauteng – the N3, N12, N1, M1, and R21 – are used by the citizens of Gauteng to go to and from work, visit families and friends daily. This has brought economic hardship to motorists. Hence (e-tolls) are rejected.

“It is easier to scrap the e-tolls than to put pressure on the already suffocating citizens through taxes.”

ANC Looks to Police to Investigate Internal Violence

The African National Congress expects law-enforcement agencies to investigate several violent incidents that have been taking place at some of its recent branch meetings across the country. This is according to the ANC’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, who informed the media on Wednesday that the decision was taken at a meeting of the ANC national working committee, which is the structure that oversees the party’s day-to-day operations.

This comes as more than 4,000 ANC branches across South Africa are in the process of electing new leaders and also selecting ward councilor candidates ahead of the local government elections on October 27. This comes after party president Cyril Ramaphosa last week condemned the shooting of two people and the injuring of 16 more at an ANC branch meeting in Lephalale, Limpopo.

In another incident, an ANC candidate was stabbed to death at a branch meeting in the Eastern Cape town of Flagstaff last Sunday, after a battle over the ward candidacy. Duarte did not mention specific incidents in her statement but made it clear that the ANC wanted law-enforcement agencies to investigate the party’s deadly meetings. She added that they also wanted affected provincial ANC structures to conduct their own investigations into the incidents.

“The NWC called for these incidents to be investigated speedily and comprehensively by law-enforcement agencies and for ANC provincial structures to investigate and take decisive organisational and disciplinary action,” Duarte said.

Duarte also voiced concerns that female candidates were being sidelined at the branch meetings.

 “All these processes are robust and vibrant, and an expression of the mass and participatory character of the ANC, as well as its commitment to internal democracy,” Duarte said.

“In this context, the NWC expressed its harshest condemnation for the isolated, yet extremely serious, incidents of violence and loss of life at ANC branch and candidate selection meetings. The NWC particularly condemned the use of violence, intimidation and threats to prevent the full participation of women in ANC processes, and reminded all ANC members that the principles of non-sexism and gender equality are sacrosanct.”

The ANC NWC welcomed the electoral court’s decision to postpone 120 by-elections that had been scheduled for Wednesday, due to the Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown restrictions. Duarte said that the ANC would be joining other political parties and interested bodies in making oral submissions before former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, who is leading an IEC-sanctioned inquiry to determine whether the October 27 municipal elections would be free and fair under lockdown restrictions.

Concerning other internal ANC matters, Duarte said that her office had “requested updates” from the provinces on the implementation of the step-aside rule, which calls for those facing corruption or criminal charges in court to vacate their positions. This was despite ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule challenging the rule in court after it was implemented to suspend him following the institution of criminal and corruption charges against him by the NPA.

“The NWC reiterated the position of the regulations, that any member charged in a court of law of corruption or other serious crimes must step aside and a member accused of corruption or other abuses in other formal processes must present themselves to the integrity commission,” she said.

SA to take to the polls on 27 October for local government elections

President Cyril Ramaphosa has on Wednesday announced 27 October 2021 as the date for the local government elections.

This will be the sixth time in a democratic South Africa that voters will elect leadership and public representatives at metropolitan, district and local government level.

The Presidency said Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma would follow the necessary legal steps to proclaim the date and undertake other requirements.

It has urged eligible – and especially first-time voters – to ensure they are registered to participate in the elections, which provide the basis for development and service delivery.

The Economic Freedom Fighters – among others – have called for the local government elections to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the government is still going ahead with the polls.

Trump claims rigged voting as Biden pulls ahead

US President, Donald Trump, addressed the United States of America in a press conference on Thursday.  This was his first public appearance in over 36 hours and came after a day punctuated with social media statements about his displeasure of Biden moving closer to victory.  Trump made unsubstantiated claims that he was being robbed of a second term without providing any evidence.  Trump spoke for 17 minutes and did not take any questions after.

‘ILLEGAL’ VOTES

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,” Trump said. It appears that Trump is drawing a contrast between votes cast on the election day and ballots counted later.  In several key states including Pennsylvania, in-person ballots were counted directly after polls closed on the 3rd, which gave Trump a large lead over Biden. But as the ballots sent by mail or deposited at official drop boxes are counted, the advantage eroded.  the decision to allow mail-in votes was based on fears of spreading the coronavirus whilst the USA is already the country with the highest infection and death rate. The mail-in voting system was in use in the US long before the pandemic and it is a tried and tested system.  Both types of voting are legal. 

MAIL-IN VOTING

“I’ve been talking about mail-in voting for a long time. It’s really destroyed our system. It’s a corrupt system and it makes people corrupt even if they aren’t, by nature. But they become corrupt. It’s too easy,” Trump said.  The president has consistently spoken against mail-in voting, saying it would cause an unfair and “rigged” election. US officials and international observers however said there has been no fraud.

“They’re finding ballots all of a sudden. It’s amazing how all those mail-in ballots are so one-sided.” But with Trump so openly opposed to mail-in voting it is likely that republican supporters avoided this method almost entirely.   “There’s simply no basis for the conspiracy theory that voting by mail causes fraud,” Ellen Weintraub of the US Federal Election Commission (FEC) said as part of a 66-tweet thread in May, as Trump attacked postal voting.

“We take all election-related threats seriously,”  FBI Director Christopher Wray said, testifying on September 24 at a Senate national security hearing. “We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise.”

CLAIMS OF VICTORY

“We were winning in all the key locations, by a lot actually, and then our numbers started miraculously getting whittled away in secret,” Trump claimed in his address to the nation.  He then claimed that he had won Pennsylvania and Georgia by “a lot” and also stated that he was victorious in Michigan.  Trump was ahead in all three states, but his lead dwindled when mail-in ballots were counted.  Biden has a significant advantage in Michigan and is rapidly closing the gap in Pennsylvania.  Trump’s lead in Georgia fell to 0.01% while he was speaking.  “This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election, they’re trying to rig an election,” said President Trump.

There is no evidence to support that claim.

CONTROL OF THE SENATE

“We kept the Senate despite having twice as many seats to defend as Democrats,” Trump said.

With votes still being counted and at least one runoff to come, definitive control of the upper house of the US legislature has not been determined. As of 0230 GMT on Friday, the split is 48-48 between Democrats and Republicans, according to The New York Times.

About Tame Times

Tame Communications (known as tame TIMES) was established in 2009. This long-established popular community title includes the key shopping centres:  Alberton City, Mal...

Get in Touch