JOHANNESBURG - The Electoral Commission has laid charges of fraud against 15 people following a fraudulent voter registration that took place in Ward 59 in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.
The IEC said in a statement “We would like to take this opportunity to remind voters that it is a criminal offence to register and vote in a ward in which they are not ordinarily resident”.
The commission had suspected fraudulent activity when it conducted its Targeted Communication & Registration exercise that normally takes place ahead of a by-election to fill a vacant ward seat.
The Electoral Commission had suspected that there were at least 19 fraudulent registrations or misrepresentations of material information to facilitate registration in the voting districts and a ward where the applicants are not ordinarily resident. A preliminary assessment by the IEC of the registrations was undertaken.
Assessments revealed that 15 applicants misrepresented their address details. The fake applicants made use of home addresses that did not belong to them. This was verified when homeowners and occupiers of the homes of the implicated addresses did not recognize the applicants.
The fraud charges against the 15 people were laid in terms of Section 89(1), read in conjunction with Section 97 and 98(b) of the of the Electoral Act 73 of 1998.
This incident comes amid the IEC’s efforts to record, update and register voters onto the voter registration roll by the end of June next year.
In June 2016, the Constitutional Court handed down judgment that the IEC had to correctly capture the addresses of all registered voters on the voters’ roll before the 2019 general election.
The judgment was brought about following a challenge by independent candidates that had lost by-elections held in the Tlokwe Local Municipality in 2013. The candidates had challenged the freeness and fairness of those elections on the basis that voters’ addresses were not recorded and many people were registered in the wrong voting districts.
Voters have been urged to contact their local Municipal Electoral Officer during office hours if they need clarity or assistance. Contact details for Municipal Electoral Offices are available on the IEC website.
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