US man’s plan to coin R82m from 1994 elections

2010-05-16 10:48

A US businessman is set to make more than R82 million for thousands

of ballot papers from the historical 1994 elections.

But the Independent Electoral Commission is objecting to the sale

despite claims by the Arizona resident, Norris Barker, that the sale was

sanctioned by Home Affairs.

Barker, a former Johannesburg teacher, is selling the 400 000

ballot papers for $27.50 (about R207) each or just more than $1 for each year

former president Nelson Mandela spent in prison.

He paid R775 000 for the “Mandela Ballots”. “I purchased

1.5 million ballots on tender,” Barker told City Press.

He said he won the tender to purchase the documents from Home

Affairs in July 1994. According to him, the sale was “confirmed by a letter from

the director-general Willem Delport”.

An email sent to Barker on March 3 by IEC official Moeketsi Motsapi

said: “SA electoral laws prohibit the sale of electoral material.” But Barker’s

lawyer replied, insisting his client was within his rights.

Barker plans to give 90% of the ­proceeds of the sale to the global

movement against violence against women and girls, V-Day, in the Democratic

Republic of Congo. The IEC may have been tipped off by V-Day, which has since

pulled out of the deal, according to Barker.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said: “We should be able to have a

reasonable discussion with Barker to find out what is happening.”

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