IEC systems failing to eliminate illegal voters and candidates

Opinion by FF Plus

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IEC systems failing to eliminate illegal voters and candidates. Photo: Pixabay
IEC systems failing to eliminate illegal voters and candidates. Photo: Pixabay

According to media reports, Ms Shiela Senkubuge, a member of the Mayoral Committee in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, was elected as a proportional Councillor for the Democratic Alliance (DA) in 2016, even though she was not even a South African citizen at the time of her election.

Senkubuge was allegedly a Ugandan citizen until recently. Not only is it in violation of the Electoral Act for a non-South African citizen to be on the voters’ roll, but it is also unlawful and unconstitutional for a person who is not a citizen to be elected to serve as a Councillor.

The FF Plus found out that on the morning of 29 November 2019, an attempt was made to lay a charge against Senkubuge with the Garsfontein Police Station regarding the alleged election fraud.

According to reports, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) also confirmed that Senkubuge has two identity numbers that were used to register as a voter.

The FF Plus will engage with the IEC to find out how it is possible that a non-citizen was able to register as a voter and stand as a candidate. If these allegations prove to be true, it will confirm that there are serious gaps in the IEC’s system when it comes to verifying who may register as a voter and who may not.

Furthermore, it is clear that the IEC’s system is failing our country if it is possible for a person who has more than one identity number to appear on the voters’ roll more than once. This could easily be but one example of possibly thousands of other cases where non-citizens are on the South African voters’ roll and are, thus, allowed to vote in the South African elections.

The DA quite possibly violated the law by naming a person, who was not a South African citizen at the time of her election, as a candidate for office, by accepting the said person as a Councillor and by, furthermore, appointing that person as a member of the Mayoral Committee. If this is true, the DA is placing the entire candidate selection process under suspicion.

And if these allegations are true, the IEC also failed to perform its duty to ensure free and fair elections.

The FF Plus will take this matter further and will insist that the IEC implements adequate systems to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus

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