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Independent candidates call for IEC’s Mopeya to resign

Independent candidates in the Tlokwe Local Municipality in Potchefstroom, North West, are calling for the resignation of Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chief Electoral officer Mosotho Moepya.

They say Moepya must take responsibility for the many problems encountered with the voters role.

Previously the IEC opened voting stations in the Tlokwe and Ventersdorp Local municipalities in an effort to obtain the addresses of all voters in that area.

This comes after the Constitutional Court ordered that all addresses in that area must be verified before the August local government elections.

“You know with the IEC there are always new facts and new issues. Just after we wrote to them on the issue of the wrong voting districts, there was a meeting here called by the provincial electoral officer. They tried to give us a voter’s roll that does not have addresses. That is now contrary or in contempt of the constitutional court ruling so we rejected them,” says Leader of the Independent Candidates, David Xolile Kham.

Meanwhile, the IEC in the North West is again going to begin a process to verify addresses for voters on the voters roll in the Tlokwe and Ventersdorp municipalities.

The commission first embarked on a verification process for voters in these areas two weeks ago. Tlokwe independent candidates are accusing the IEC of not having doing enough to verify the addresses of voters appearing on the voters roll, as ordered by the constitutional court.

The IEC is expected to verify addresses of about 26 000 potential voters in the Tlokwe-Ventersdorp area.

However, they only managed to verify around 3 900. This is only over 2% of voters appearing on the voters roll.

“The exercise did not yield the desired results because of the 26 000 voters who did not have addresses we only got 3938 addresses. I must hasten to say though that this 26 000 was everybody who was on the segment of the voters roll in North West 405 that is Tlokwe-Ventersdorp local municipality we thought that perhaps we would be able to get as many as those voters as possible but obviously we could not,” says IEC Provincial Electoral Officer, Dr Tumelontle Thiba.

Thiba says now the commission has decided to go back although the exercise they are to embark on is extremely difficult.

“I must say it is extremely difficult indeed to harvest addresses where you do not have the details of a voter but what the commission has decided to do last Friday was that we should give it another try we should go back to Tlokwe and see what is that we can do to try and harvest more addresses. Remember the process really is not the verification of the address the process is to get the addresses in other words to harvest or to source the addresses from the voters.”

Independent Candidates in Tlokwe are accusing the IEC of not doing enough in carrying out the court order. Their spokesperson, David Kham, says if the matter is not adequately adhered to, they will be forced to go back to the Electoral Court.

“Surely in Potch we are not going to permit the IEC to proceed with the elections if they do not conform with the Kham judgment. The IEC is still failing, we will see until when, to get those addresses or they must tell us these are ghost people who have always been contained in this voters roll. We are observing their attitude to that effect and we will wait for their response and we will act accordingly. The electoral court is one place where we will end up with them.”

Political analyst from the North West University, Professor Andre Duvenhage, believes that should the IEC be unable to verify addresses, that might have an impact on the holding of the elections in Tlokwe.

“At the moment the scenario seems to be that we are not going to get the addresses verified and that there is a strong possibility that Mr Kham and his people are going to the Electoral court and at the end of the day we may see history repeating itself and yet again we are not going to have elections in Tlokwe, which I believe will be very unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, the independent candidates have given the IEC seven days to ensure that they comply with the court order on verification of addresses.

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