Ex-councillor’s car burned

2014-03-26 00:00

THE former ANC councillor who took the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to court over the fraudulent registration of voters in Abaqulusi Municipality’s Ward 22 had his vehicle torched on Monday night.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed that Andre Lotter’s vehicle was set light while it was parked on his farm at Lenjane Reserve in Gluckstadt near Vryheid.

“The motive of the incident is unknown at this stage. Gluckstadt police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property and no arrest has been made at this stage,” Naicker said.

This happened as Lotter was waiting for the Electoral Court to make a ruling on his urgent interdict to prevent today’s by-election from going ahead.

However, his application was dismissed yesterday and the Electoral Court said it would provide reasons in “due course”.

Lotter, who wanted the ANC and IFP banned from contesting the by-elections, launched his application last week after he had twice successfully lodged similar applications last year.

He first obtained an interdict against the by-election in April last year when the IEC refused him to register as a candidate, and then he alleged voters not residing in the ward were fraudulently registered.

The Electoral Court initially ordered an investigation that found 1 525 voters were not resident at the ward.

Lotter again obtained an interdict preventing the by-election in August 2013 after he approached the Constitutional Court, which ordered the Electoral Court to consider if the investigation into electoral fraud was adequate.

But, Lotter had deemed the IEC probe as inadequate because it did not impose sanctions on the ANC and IFP.

In his latest application Lotter wanted the by-elections postponed pending the finalisation of the police investigation and imposition of sanctions against the ANC and IFP.

Lotter said he was in bed with his wife when he noticed a light outside the house at about 10 pm and when he investigated he saw his Toyota Avanza on fire.

He was convinced the car had been destroyed because of the court action.

“Someone is not very happy with the application I brought to have the by-election postponed to give the police more time to investigate the electoral crimes that were committed in the run-up to the by-election,” he said.

Lotter previously experienced a break-in at his farm and on another occasion tyres were set on fire next to his house.

Recalling Monday’s fire, Lotter said he had thought of dousing the flames to retrieve his passport and ID document.

“My wife said it could be a trick to get me out of the house so that I could be attacked. We were scared that they were waiting outside,” he said.

Lotter, who is now using public transport since his car was uninsured, said he was weighing his options regarding yesterday’s Electoral Court court ruling.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the police should leave no stone unturned in arresting those responsible for the damage to Lotter’s car.

However, the ANC and IFP said they were looking forward to today’s by-election.

The ward was previously led by Lotter before he resigned from the ANC and then joined the IFP, which he later dumped to contest the ward as an independent candidate.

Today’s by-election is expected to be contested by the ACDP, ANC, IFP and NFP.

Meanwhile, the Jozini by-election in Ward 4 Jozini has been postponed for further investigation of the voter’s roll after the IEC requested a postponement from Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube.

The by-election was previously postponed after allegations of fraudulent registration of voters not residing in the ward were made.

“A date on which these by-elections will now be held has not yet been confirmed,” the IEC said.

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