Councillors from the Economic Freedom Fighters have called for their colleagues in the City of Ekurhuleni’s council to produce ID documents to confirm the list of councillors provided by the IEC‚ further delaying the selection of the council speaker.
The Economic Freedom Fighters questioned the validity of the list provided by IEC which is being used to confirm the councillors present in chambers.
For about 15 minutes‚ EFF members raised the matter sharply after there was a confusion about the initials of two councillors who shared the same surname.
The EFF‚ supported by the Democratic Alliance‚ proposed that councillors present their ID documents before they are given a ballot paper for the voting of the speaker of council.
“It’s important to verify the identities of the councilors. It’s important to make sure that people participating in the process are legit‚” one EFF councilor said.
Council secretary Nana Moloi said a roll call would be done again to verify the identities of all councilors.
The EFF‚ however‚ did not take kindly to this suggestion saying: “You don’t understand what we are raising. We need not observe the Electoral Act partially. We need to do so in full. Let’s not pick an choose”.
An IEC official explained that law did not require councillors to produce their identity documents as the elections are not governed using the Electoral Act.
Moloi then accepted this view and ruled that voting proceeds as planned.
The ANC’s Patricia Khumalo is up against the DA’s Shado Shabangu for the speaker post.
After the results are publicly announced‚ the new speaker will take over and preside over the election of the executive mayor and chief whip of council.
There was an earlier delay to this as Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members demanded that the secret ballot system be suspended for the election of the speaker.
“Why can’t we allow people who do not want their votes secret to be allowed to do so?” an EFF councillor asked of Moloi.
Moloi rejected the proposal‚ arguing that she would be contravening the act governing the election of officials in council.
“I can’t contravene the act‚” she said.
On Monday‚ the EFF caused havoc in the City of Johannesburg when it disrupted proceedings‚ demanding that its members be allowed to show their ballots as a confirmation that they voted for a particular nominee.
This stance by the EFF has been seen as an indicator that there are doubts that all the members of the party in council would support the directive to vote for the Democratic Alliance.