Come for the musical puns and stay for the political analysis, that’s always been the motto and tagline of this blog. But I digress. Thlokwe and the IEC are in a mess.
Here’s a map of Tlokwe with the ward winners, as at the 2011 municipal elections:
There are 52 seats in the council. The ANC held 30 seats (or just under 60 per cent) after the 2011 elections. Note that a party or coalition needs 27 seats to have a clear majority:
A potted history of Tlokwe doesn’t really do justice to the tangled ball of no-confidence votes, ANC councilors voting against their own mayor, and their subsequent mass expulsion from the party. This triggered 11 by-elections in the municipality in less than half a year and led to a short-lived palace coup by a DA-led coalition.
You can get some of the backstory here, here, and here. The ANC successfully defended 10 of its 11 wards, losing Ward 26 to the very ward councilor it expelled, who ran as an independent. The ANC’s majority in council fell to 29 seats, but the party regained control of the municipality.
Except that was not even all, as Corne and Twakkie were wont to say. On Monday, the Constitutional Court found that the IEC had done a super-bad job of running free and fair elections in seven Tlokwe wards.
By-elections will have to be held again in those wards. The table below shows the results of the original by-elections, with the affected wards highlighted in yellow:
Assuming that the by-elections take place before next year’s general elections, the ANC has got to be worried about Wards 4 and 13. If the IEC is serious about cleaning up dodgy voters’ rolls then the ANC might be worried about Ward 20 also, which saw an astonishing growth of 80 per cent in its voters’ roll – in just two and a half years.
For now, the ANC has 22 legitimate councilors out of a 45-person council. Is the DA about to yank the mayoral chain away from the ANC again?