E Cape murder of Cope activist mars election day

The murder of a leading activist of the Congress of the People (Cope), put a blight on the peaceful conduct of Wednesday’s general election.

Cope officials at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) results centre here reckoned that it was a political killing.

Gerlad Yona was a ”zonal coordinator” — a title particular to the interim structures of the new political party — in Motherwell, in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.

He and his wife and children were attacked by three men armed with hand guns. His wife was injured and was taken to hospital, but was later discharged. Yona, aged 38, died.

Cope provincial spokesperson Nkosifikile Gqomo said that the children escaped and the three men escaped. No arrests have yet been made.

Elsewhere in the province voting progressed smoothly throughout Wednesday, although political parties reported a few incidents of irregularities.

Cope and the Democratic Alliance (DA) complained to the IEC about irregularities in casting of the special votes.

Both parties claimed that some voters who were not eligible for special votes had been allowed to vote. The matter would be investigated by the IEC after a report was compiled by the complainants.

Cope complained of African National Congress (ANC) volunteers who were reportedly telling people at some voting stations, particularly the elderly and illiterate, to vote for the party.

”That’s a disturbing trend because people should decide on their own who they would vote for. That this happens at the gates of polling stations makes it worse because those people will obviously be intimidated by these tactics,” said Gqomo. — Sapa, I-Net Bridge

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