Call to postpone by-election at AbaQulusi

2014-03-24 00:00

FORMER ANC councillor Andre Lotter has launched another urgent application with the Electoral Court to interdict the by-election to be held in AbaQulusi Municipality’s Ward 22.

Voter registration for the by-election was marred by the fraudulent registration of voters who do not live in the area.

It is the third time Lotter, of Vryheid, has sought reprieve from the courts to force the postponement of the by-elections there.

Lotter first interdicted the by-election in April last year, accusing the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of refusing to allow him to register as a candidate, and also alleging fraudulent registration of voters.

The by-election was again postponed in August 2013 after Lotter approached the Constitutional Court, which ordered the Electoral Court to consider if the investigation into electoral fraud was adequate.

Although the IEC had conducted an investigation into the fraudulent registration of voters, and found 1 525 voters were not residents of the ward, Lotter deemed the probe was inadequate because it did not impose sanctions on the ANC and IFP. In the court papers, Lotter accused the IEC of merely removing 1 525 voters from the voters’ roll and failing to ensure the police and National Prosecuting Authority took action.

He also charged that the electoral body had failed to accuse the ANC and IFP of the electoral fraud.

Lotter said the by-elections would not be free and fair if they went ahead on Wednesday, and should be postponed pending the finalisation of the police investigation into the fraudulent voter regis­trations.

Lotter said the by-election should also be postponed until the court process was concluded, and whatever sanctions and penalties had been determined were applied to the perpetrators of the electoral fraud. He added that the postponement should be granted pending conclusion of the processes he undertook in the Constitutional Court, including the review of its earlier order.

The IEC, as the first respondent, is opposing the court application.

Also cited among the 11 respondents are the ANC, IFP, NFP, National Prosecuting Authority, SAPS, Department of Justice, and Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube.

The court is expected to rule on the matter tomorrow after the responding parties have filed papers.

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