TSAMBOKHULU – A female farmer has won the highly contested Tsambokhulu by-elections under the category of Indvuna Yekhundla (Constituency headman).
Thoko Mahlalela (35), a farmer who grows vegetables among other crops, defeated Charles Dlamini, a popular handicraftsman by only 28 votes.
The two aspiring politicians were tied at 111 votes in the Primary Elections held about a fortnight ago. This then warranted the by-elections which Mahlalela won comfortably with a total of 104 votes, while Dlamini could only amass 76 votes.
The by-elections were marred by la ow turnout, as only 186 voters casted their votes out of a total of 461 prospective voters registered under Tsambokhulu polling division. However, the low turnout does not matter anymore to Mahlalela, who has now cruised to the Secondary Elections slated for this coming Friday.
“I’m happy that I won (the first round) and I’m now focused on winning the Secondary Elections,” an elated Mahlalela said when interviewed on Saturday.
She further said going into the by-elections, she never had any doubts about her chances of winning as she believed that voters would favour her over the other candidate.
She appreciated the people of Tsambokhulu who nominated her and further ensured that she won the Primary Elections.
Mahlalela is confident of winning the final round but she lamented the fact that she had to wait for the outcome of the by-elections before she could hit the campaign trail.
“The first round tie delayed me because I couldn’t campaign before the outcome of the by-elections,” she stated.
In the Secondary Elections on Friday, Mahlalela will be up against six other candidates from the six polling divisions under Mhlume Inkhundla.