Celebs urge you to vote, yet they’re not registered

2014-02-16 10:00

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“If you don’t vote, then what you are saying is you don’t care what it is that they [politicians] do, and that is dangerous. Cast your vote and make a difference.”

That’s what rapper Khuli Chana says in a video message for the IXSA campaign of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

But Chana, real name Khulane Morule, only registered to vote when City Press’ sister paper, Rapport, discovered he hadn’t done so. Fellow celebs Jonathan “Ziyon” Hamilton of Liquideep and actor-presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi are also not registered to vote.

The campaign – which also features the likes of rapper HHP, singers Toya Delazy and Loyiso Bala, and models Melinda Bam and Shashi Naidoo – is aimed at getting young South Africans to vote.

Using the IEC’s SMS service for verifying voters’ registration status, Rapport set out to determine whether or not the IXSA celebrities – who were paid by the IEC for their work – were registered.

Morule and Ngwekazi weren’t, while it emerged Hamilton won’t be able to as he’s not a South African citizen.

Morule hung up when questioned on Friday morning. His publicist Sheira Afari later said: “He was on the Kendrick Lamar tour last weekend and thus missed the voting registration deadline. It was not and is not any intention of his not to vote.”

The final registration weekend was held last weekend, after which the IEC announced those who missed the opportunity to register could still do so by making an appointment at their nearest IEC office. By yesterday, the SMS service indicated Morule’s application was being processed.

Linda Maseko, Liquideep’s manager, said the IEC was aware Hamilton was not a South African citizen. He was born in the US and settled here in 2000. “Both his parents are citizens and he is in the process of becoming a citizen,” said Maseko.

Naidoo said: “I hope it doesn’t harm the campaign. It is still a positive message that goes out to young South Africans. They [the unregistered celebrities] are giving advice that they are not necessarily following, but hopefully people do as [the celebrities] say and not as they do.”

Another IXSA celebrity endorser who wanted to remain anonymous said: “I wasn’t asked whether or not I was registered. He did not want to divulge how much they were paid for the campaign, but said it wasn’t a “ridiculous” amount.

Marco Granelli, the IEC’s communications head, said Ngwekazi and Morule were contacted after the issue was brought to the commission’s attention.

“We did not check the celebrities’ registration status. There was an understanding they would be registered by the second registration weekend.”

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