Barred candidate to apply to suspend Vryheid by-election today

2013-04-22 00:00

ALLEGATIONS of irregularities in the voter registration process for a by-election in Vryheid will come under the spotlight when former ANC councillor Andre Lotter lodges papers in the Electoral Court today.

Lotter wants the court to suspend a by-election to be held in the Vryheid-based Abaqulusi Municipality on Wednesday.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), ANC and IFP will be cited as respondents.

The Witness on Friday quoted Lotter claiming that an IEC official had refused to accept his nomination form on April 3, the cut-off date, because he had cash instead of a bank-guaranteed cheque.

Lotter said he returned two days later — within the IEC deadline for outstanding documents to be submitted — but the official had insisted that it was too late for him to register.

He also claimed the IEC had allowed more than 2 400 people to register in the ward although they did not live there, and that political parties had bused people from outside the ward to register for the by-election.

Yesterday, Lotter told The Witness that he served a notice of motion to the IEC office in Vryheid on Friday.

He said his court application would be formally lodged at the Electoral Court in Bloemfontein today.

Lotter, an interpreter by profession, drafted the court papers himself.

In his application, he is asking the court to nullify the voter registration, to postpone the by-elections and to impose sanctions against the ANC and IFP.

He also wants charges preferred against people he identifies as being behind the alleged irregularities.

He will apply to the court to order the IEC to allow him to register as a candidate and for the by-election to be held on another date.

ANC regional chairperson Nomagugu Simelane said the ruling party believed in the rule of law and hoped that Lotter would back up his claims with evidence.

“We will await the outcome of the court processes,” Simelane said.

IFP constituency spokesperson Jerry Sibiya could not be reached for comment.

IEC provincial commissioner Mawethu Mosery previously told The Witness that Lotter was welcome to go to court if he was dissatisfied with its ruling.

• mayibongwe.maqhina@

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