Johannesburg – The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday that it has written to the Speaker of eThekwini Municipality, Lekgoa Mapena, calling on him to invalidate all 100 ward committee elections held over the last two weekends. 

The DA said the Municipal Structures Act requires that ward committees, consisting of 10 people, be established through community elections. 
“The role of these committees in each ward is intended to facilitate development and service delivery, instead it has become a conduit for the ANC (African National Congress) divert ratepayers money to their comrades,” said Councillor Sharon Chetty – DA eThekwini Chief Whip. 
“Each member of the ward committee will be paid a monthly stipend of R1 000. This will cost ratepayers almost R66m over a five year period. In almost all of the ward committee elections held, there has been massive irregularities and the principles of electoral legislation were completely ignored.” 
Chetty said violence and intimidation “became the order of the day ” at many of these elections with the South African Police Service having their hands full in trying to restore order. 
“Several elections were postponed by the presiding officer because of ANC members refusing to abide by the rulings of the presiding officers, which disrupted the process and caused chaos,” said Chetty. 
“In many instances, the elections were held in secret with only the ANC structures being informed of the venue where the elections were to be held.” 
The DA further alleged that “although venues were advertised, the Speaker changed the venue at the last minute and only ANC structures were in attendance to elect their representatives”. 
 The DA said it will take urgent legal action to set the elections aside and will not allow such an undemocratic and biased process to continue at the expense of ratepayers. All elections should be free and fair, even ward committee elections, the party said. 
African News Agency