When first challenged, the body managing our elections certified that the voters registered for the by-election in Abaqulusi (Vryheid) Ward 22 had all checked out.
The Independent Electoral Commission said its staff had verified the addresses of those who had registered to vote, and were satisfied they lived in the ward.
Then an Electoral Court told the IEC to check again. It did, and removed 1 500 names from that voters roll. It had been a big mistake – a 25 percent error on a list of 6 100 (which had been 3 700 in the elections just two years ago).
It was a blunder, in fact, when seen in the light of the average voter turnout in KwaZulu-Natal wards in the last municipal election in 2011: 2 317. Fifteen hundred outsiders bused into a ward they were not entitled to vote in would have swamped the poll.
But the fight goes on, with an independent aspirant, André Lötter, a former ANC councillor in the ward whose departure from the party caused the by-election, taking the matter higher.