On Wednesday, 14 December 2022, the IFP will contest the by-election of Ward 99 Ethekwini. We are ready for the by-election, and we are confident of an outcome favorable to the IFP as the People are eager for change.
Durban has collapsed. It is a shadow of its former self.
The issues we raise today are for the purposes of public interest and to enrich the due processes of elections; any election, if we are to be confident that elections are free and fair.
On 14 November 2022, the IFP wrote to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) objecting to the Voters’ Roll in terms of Section 15 of the Electoral Act 73 of 1998, to raise the following issues which emanated out of our Voters’ Roll study.
It is our understanding that the IEC has undertaken “to leave no stone unturned to address all omissions and errors on the voters’ roll” as per their own press statement after the Constitutional Court judgment of 2016 (Electoral Commission v Aaron Pasela Mhlophe and others); such errors were clearly set out in our objections with regard to voters given addresses not being in Ward 99, Ethekwini; locations not being residential addresses; and voters across various voting districts registered at the same impossible address in a different voting district.
In a letter to the IFP, the IEC rejected our complaint.
Here are the issues we raised:
- Thirty-two (32) people were registered as voters not residing in Ward 99.
- One hundred and fifty (150) were registered as voters, all purporting to be residing at 1 300017 St, Magabheni. This is in an open/vacant piece of land.
- Ninety-five (95) people were registered with 97 Bisset St, Umkomaas, which SAPS Umkomaas lists as their residential address.
- Eighty-nine (89) people were registered with 13 Bisset St, Umkomaas, which Build It Umkomaas lists as their residential address.
- One hundred and eighty-three (183) people were registered with 2 Brad St, Umkomaas, which SPAR Umkomaas lists as their residential address.
- Ninety-seven (97) people were registered with 10 Barrow St, Umkomaas as their residential address.
- One hundred and fifty-seven (157) people were registered with 9 Robinson St, Umkomaas, a private residence whose owner does not know the said registered voters.
- Four hundred and thirty-five people (435) were registered without addresses.
With regards to points 2 to 7, these supposed voters share the same address but are registered for different voting districts in this Ward.
As indicated above, the IEC did not uphold our complaint, on a technicality.
We accepted this decision, our reservation notwithstanding.
However, as the IFP Voters’ Roll Task Team, on latest observation and study of the Voters’ Roll on Tuesday, 6 December 2022, we picked up that by some miracle the Voters’ Roll had been amended, and suddenly these people have ‘new’ addresses.
The integrity of the Voters’ Roll is integral to the credibility of any election and it is clear that the IEC lacks systems of check-and-balance in verifying addresses of voters.
Just last week, we were confronted with ‘migrant voters’ being bussed from UMhlathuze Ward 12, to vote in the UMthonjaneni Ward 5 by-election, and as we speak those people were arrested.
The IFP has today dispatched a letter to the IEC via our lawyers seeking an explanation with regards to the latest development of amendments to the Voters’ Roll, which attempt to sanitize voter details.
Just like in UMthonjaneni, our by-election foot soldiers and volunteers will be on high alert to safeguard the by-election.
The IFP is placing these issues in the public domain in order to protect our hard-fought for democracy and protect the integrity of the IEC. It is vital that the electoral process is not compromised going forward.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539