IEC bill adopted amid DA bid

2013-09-19 23:15

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The National Assembly on Thursday adopted the electoral amendment bill amid a DA court bid to have it rewritten to secure a provincial vote for South Africans living abroad.

The bill, which gives expatriates the right to vote for the National Assembly only, was approved by all parties except the official opposition.

The party found itself accused of attempted "vote-rigging" by Deputy Home Affairs Minister Fatima Chohan.

She said it was common knowledge that the DA was lobbying all its supporters abroad to cast provincial votes in Gauteng in the 2014 elections should the court case succeed.

"It creates huge opportunities to skew the outcome of the provincial election. In plain language this is called vote-rigging," she said.

The DA's Masizole Mnqasela insisted that by the bill was disenfranchising expatriates.

"The DA believes that there should be no restraints whatsoever on the ability of citizens to exercise their right to vote. The bill undermines democracy and the fundamental right to vote as enshrined in the Constitution," he said.

Mnqasela caused a stir in the portfolio committee on home affairs where the bill was finalised this week, by suggesting that if the DA's proposals were adopted, the party would drop its court challenge.

This earned a stern rebuke from the Cope's Graham McIntosh, who repeated his view on Thursday that the DA "was holding pistols to the head of Parliament" by turning to the Western Cape High Court to have its way with legislation.

International practice

ANC MP Andre Gaum rubbished the DA's contention that it was common practice to allow expatriates to vote in provincial elections, saying it was precisely not the case from Angola to Australia and from Botswana to the United Kingdom.

Apart from international practice going against the DA's argument, he said, it would create a logistical nightmare to send provincial ballots back to voting districts in South Africa.

This would undermine the integrity of the elections as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) would be forced to rely on external transport services.

The bill gives effect to a successful application brought by the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) in the Constitutional Court on the eve of the 2009 elections to secure South Africans abroad the right to vote for the National Assembly.

But in Thursday's debate on the legislation, the FF Plus's Corné Mulder said his party could not side with the DA's position that provincial voting rights should be added and believed its court bid was doomed.

"You know very well it is not going to happen. It is extremely opportunistic. You want to play for votes," he said.

"For once in your life be realistic."

The IEC has been anxious for the bill to be passed to give it time to process regulations stemming from it and prepare for the elections, expected to be held in April or May.

Read more on:    ff plus  |  anc  |  iec  |  cope  |  da  |  cape town  |  elections 2014

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
17 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.