IEC gets the blame

2016-08-10 06:00

AN elderly woman from Edenburg, Mase­rame Ramokoena (74), is fighting for her life in the Diamond Hospital in Jagersfontein in the Free State. She is reportedly in a critical condition. The elderly woman reportedly collapsed while in a voting queue at a voting station at the Botle Ba Thuto Primary School in the township on voting day last Wednesday (03/08). She allegedly did not receive immediate attention and there was no emergency service to attend to her at the scene. The woman was reportedly sent from pillar to post, allegedly by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Her aggrieved son Mosobelo Ramokoena (36) said his mother had suffered a stroke due to her being sent from pillar to post by IEC officials on Election Day. The voting station had apparently had two queues for voting to avoid making voters wait too long.

Ramokoena claims that the presiding officer at the voting station told voters he was only hired to administer the voting processes and not to deal with emergency medical issues. One of the bystanders, a party agent, reportedly phoned an ambulance when the presiding officer’s refused to do so. Mosobelo said his mother allegedly collapsed after getting upset with an IEC official, causing her blood pressure to rise.

Granny Ramokoena is currently fighting for her life in hospital. Mosobelo said upon arriving at the hospital, they were told that his mother’s right side had been paralysed. He blames the IEC official for failing to act promptly to assist his mother.

“The IEC must move my mother to a private hospital and pay for her medical costs,” he said.

Mathabo Rasengane, IEC spokesperson in the Free State, confirmed that the commission has received a complaint from the Ramokoena family regarding the incident and that the IEC’s provincial management was handling the matter.

This is not an isolated incident. In the Western Cape, an ANC volunteer died at the Struisbaai voting station.

In another incident, a woman collapsed while waiting to cast her ballot in the Ingwe Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), while a man died in a queue at a voting station in Strydenburg in the Northern Cape.

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