Concern over Tlokwe vote reports

2014-09-01 21:39
(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Parliament's portfolio committee on home affairs expressed concern on Monday at reports that the IEC had admitted a number of voters had voted outside their wards in the Tlokwe by-elections last year.

"This admission is concerning because of the centrality of the IEC and electoral processes in ensuring a viable democratic order," committee chairperson Malatswa Molepo said in a statement.

"Such incidents, if not dealt with effectively, have the potential of undermining not only the credibility of the IEC as an institution, but the democracy of the country."

According to City Press, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has admitted that 1040 illegal voters made their mark in the Tlokwe municipal by-elections last year.

However, it insisted that the illegal votes did not change the outcome of the elections.

The admission was contained in a rejoinder affidavit filed with the Electoral Court in June and signed by chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya.

The case, which started in December, was reportedly postponed in June and was supposed to be heard last month. But it was again postponed indefinitely after Moepya’s affidavit revealed that some registrations were illegal.

The by-elections were called after nine ANC councillors were fired by the party for refusing to support former Tlokwe mayor Mapetla Mapetla.

Independent candidates in nine of the wards asked the court to set aside the results and institute an independent investigation.

The African National Congress won eight of the nine wards.

The portfolio committee said on Monday that while the IEC was the custodian of elections and was responsible for ensuring integrity, there needed to be a collaborative effort with other institutions such as the Municipal Demarcation Board and local government.

"As the commission prepares for the upcoming municipal elections in 2016, plans should be in place to mitigate against such occurrences," said Molepo.

"The committee will in the months leading to these elections ensure that such plans are in place."

Read more on:    local government  |  politics

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