Hundreds taken off voters’ roll

2013-08-01 00:00

THE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) yesterday said it was satisfied that the voters’ roll for Ward 22 in Abaqulusi Municipality was credible ahead of by-elections to be held next Wednesday.

The IEC made the statement after it completed an investigation and found that 1 525 voters were not resident in Ward 22.

The investigation came after the IEC was ordered by the Electoral Court in April to request the Local Government MEC Nomusa Dube to postpone the by-election planned for April 24, following an urgent application by one of the prospective candidates, Andre Lotter.

IEC chairperson advocate Pansy Tlakula said the probe had revealed 2 464 voters registered in the ward with 430 new registrations.

There were 167 re-registrations from the same voting district and 1 867 voters from other voting stations.

Tlakula said further investigations focused on voter migration after it was found that this was the essence of possible fraudulent registrations.

An investigation was conducted by a team of 25 fieldworkers and a number of community meetings under provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery, party liaison committee members, Lotter and electoral staff were held.

Tlakula said a total of 1 541 voter applicants were found not to be resident at the given addresses.

“Only 11 representations were made to the Electoral Commission. Eight of the 11 cases were retained in Ward 22 while three others were returned to voting districts of original registration,” she said.

“The voters’ roll of Ward 22 was accordingly corrected by removing a total of 1 525 voters and these voters were placed in the voting districts of original registration,” Tlakula added.

She said the provisional voters’ roll has since been certified and made available to participating parties to contest the by-election on August 7.

Tlakula said a criminal investigation was under way and the IEC hoped those responsible would be brought to book.

She said democracy would be weakened by any manipulation of the registration process.

“The Electoral Commission calls on electoral stakeholders to conduct themselves in a manner that facilitate the strengthening of electoral democracy development in the province,” Tlakula said.

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