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By unknown | Apr 24, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe and Mary Papayya

Canaan Mdletshe and Mary Papayya

The senior IEC presiding officer in Ulundi who was allegedly caught in possession of marked ballot papers in favour of the IFP appeared in the Esikhawini magistrate's court.

The 41-year-old Sindisiwe Nathesta Ncube works as a clerk in the IFP-led Ulundi municipality.

She was released on R4000 bail yesterday and is due to appear in court on May 7.

The IFP has distanced itself from the incident.

Ncube was arrested on Wednesday morning shortly before voting got under way in the area.

She faces charges of fraud and uttering and of contravening section 91 of the Electoral Act.

Prosecutor Jabulani Cebekhulu said Ncube was found in possession of 100 ballot papers .

Of these 62 were crossed in favour of the IFP and 38 were unmarked.

"We have agreed with her lawyers on June 5 as a trial date.

"If found guilty Ncube could face a fine or imprisonment," Cebekhulu said.

Ncube, dressed in a municipal jacket and brown pants, sat subdued throughout the court proceedings.

She avoided eye contact with anyone and her lawyers refused to comment.

IEC chief provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said the matter had not affected voting.

"This happened before voting started. Police intervened ahead of the opening of the station."

He said it was the first incident of its kind since 1994.

"This shows that party agents are important players in the elections. They noticed the incident and alerted the police."


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