Vryheid man wins court battle to postpone by-election

2013-04-24 00:00

TODAY’S by-election in Vryheid’s Ward 22 has been postponed following a ruling by the Electoral Court in Durban.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said last night a new date and arrangements for the by-election would be announced.

This follows an urgent application yesterday by former ANC councillor André Lotter who cited the IEC, ANC and IFP as respondents.

An elated Lotter, who was returning to Vryheid from Durban after representing himself in the application, told The Witness last night: ‘I am very happy with the outcome of the court. It sends a clear message to the crooks that crime does not pay.”

Lotter, who resigned from the ANC in January, asked the court to allow him to stand in the Abaqulusi municipality by-election. He claimed the IEC had refused him the right to contest it as an independent candidate.

Lotter applied to the Electoral Court, among others, to order:

• That people who were allegedly bused in by the ANC and Inkatha Freedom Party during voter registration be removed from the voters’ roll;

• That a police investigation into alleged electoral fraud be extended to include new facts contained in his affidavit;

• That the laws governing elections should be amended to empower the IEC to combat electoral fraud during voter registration.

Lotter said the number of people on the voters’ roll in the constituency had increased from 3 695 to 6 165 in March.

Chief electoral officer Simon Moepya filed an opposing affidavit.

Advocate Adrian Rall for the ANC asked the court to dismiss the application. Lotter should have followed IEC procedure to object to the inflated voters’ roll, he argued.

Advocate Mark Oliff, for the IFP, said there was certainly suspicion about the veracity of the voters’ roll. “This is the cornerstone whether the elections will be free and fair,” he told the court.

• mayibongwe.maqhina@witness.co.za

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