Alleged three-time voter up for shoplifting

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

File picture: Timothy Bernard

Johannesburg - He stands accused of voting multiple times.

But he never showed up in court because he has been linked to multiple crimes.

Last week, Derrick Dumisane Ngwenya, 22, and Independent Electoral Commission voting officials Molatelo Mashaba, 44, and Lindiwe Masango, 42, were due to appear in the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud and breaching the Electoral Act.

The charges arise from allegations that Ngwenya voted, or tried to vote, more than once on election day last month.

While Mashaba and Masango made their court appearance, Ngwenya failed to turn up, and it has now emerged that he could not get there because he was in custody for another crime.

Details were contradictory.

Ngwenya had a warrant of arrest pending for shoplifting. He was arrested when he first appeared in court. But then last week, he appeared in court for a shoplifting case for which he was also remanded.

He has not yet been sentenced, but is in prison awaiting trial for the shoplifting and fraud cases, according to police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.

But National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Kholiswa Mdhluli said Ngwenya did not appear “because he is serving a jail term for another unrelated fraud case”, and that the matter had been postponed so that he could be “requisitioned from prison”.

Mdhluli said all three accused would be prosecuted on the fraud charges. The three were due in court again on Friday.

The trio were arrested late on May 7 and taken to Rietgat police station in Soshanguve after party agents at the voting station at Kgotlelelang Primary called the police. When they arrived there, Mashaba and Masango were wearing IEC T-shirts.

At the time, police confirmed reports that Ngwenya was found with three IEC stamps in his ID book, showing he had voted three times. Tshwane Cope councillor Tiviselani Babane said he was caught after someone noticed that he had been in the voting queue at the same station more than once.

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