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Anyone can lay 'selfie' charge

By Sapa | 2014-05-08 06:57:50.0 | COMMENTS [ 10 ]

Any person can lay a charge against someone caught taking a "selfie" of their ballot at a voting station, IEC chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya said on Wednesday.

"Anyone that is aware of prohibited conduct can lay a charge," Moepya said at the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) results centre in Pretoria.

"They must be arrested if somebody wants to lay a charge. You can carry your camera. We aren't going to say don't bring it in, but you can't use it inside the voting station. That is a criminal offence."

Selfies are photographs people take of themselves on cellphones.

His comments follow a report by the Sowetanlive website that kwaito musician Sbusiso Leope, known as DJ Sbu, ignored the warning not to take photographs in the voting booth when he tweeted photographs of his ballot papers on Wednesday.

The original photographs were close-up shots that showed his marked national and provincial ballot papers under the hashtag #WhyiVoteANC.

Later these images appeared to have been removed as his Twitter feed showed only a photograph of an inked thumb over a portion of oysters on ice with scattered lemon slices.

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula could also find himself in trouble after he tweeted a photo of himself holding his ballot papers with the caption: "That's me ready to vote for my ANC, province to national."

Moepya explained it was an offence according to election regulation 38 (1A) which reads: "No person may make a photographic or any other form of image of a ballot paper which has been marked by a voter on election day or on a day on which special votes are cast."

He said the IEC could not act on these complaints.

"The electoral commission does not have police cells, it [electoral regulations] does say anyone can lay a charge, even I can lay a charge as the chief electoral officer for that purpose."

The IEC could deal with matters concerning political parties, but it was any citizen's responsibility to report criminal matters.


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In retrospect he should have made the statement with a "terms and conditions" clause like "does not apply to politicians - since Fikile could be in hot water now.

2014-05-08 07:37:14.0 | 0 replies


then Tlakula should lay a charge against DJ Sbu Nya ope!

2014-05-08 07:50:45.0 | 0 replies


Sbu uyaphapha lebari latetly yerrrrr

2014-05-08 08:46:08.0 | 0 replies


I've seen a few on Facebook. I really can't see the logic behind it. Are they trying to say that they usually lie so they have to have proof when telling the truth or are they auditioning for tenders?

2014-05-08 08:52:25.0 | 2 replies


MC, I also don't see the logic. Last election there was no such rule, they seem to make them up as they go along.

2014-05-08 09:16:24.0 | 0 replies


Whizzer - last elections, not many cell phones had cameras and twittering twits were non existent. I agree with the rule, I just don't understand why someone would want to photograph their ballot paper

2014-05-08 09:27:00.0 | 0 replies


This is the dumbest law I have ever come acorss. I wonder what logic or reasoniung did they use to reach the decision that selfies must be banned. I an understand them wanting to keep the queues flowing but are they scared someone will clone the ballot boxes? The power that comes with the fear of arrest has gone to someones head and they think they can make laws for the sake of making laws, isn't posting a ballot showing your mark covered by the Constitutional Right to Freedom of Expression?

2014-05-08 09:33:14.0 | 3 replies


?? so if someone asks you for a photo of your ballot paper to be attached to your CV or your tender documents, that is okay by you? Cause that is where it will eventually lead to

2014-05-08 09:45:42.0 | 0 replies


The law actually covers the issue of secrecy of the ballot, meaning that it was designed to protect someone else from publishing a picture of you casting your vote, if the ballot paper with your mark on it is showing. But, while I may not seek to find out and reveal how you voted, you, yourself are free to reveal such. So technically if you publish your own picture that you took yourself, it should be left to you, its your prerogative. Its stupid to do I know, but we have a right to be stupid.

2014-05-08 10:17:22.0 | 0 replies


"Constitutional Right to Freedom of Expression? " - Exceptions are always there

2014-05-08 10:20:30.0 | 0 replies