IEC lauds KZN 'tolerance'

KwaZulu-Natal has been able to show the world that when power is contested people do not have to die, Brigalia Bam, chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), said yesterday .

KwaZulu-Natal has been able to show the world that when power is contested people do not have to die, Brigalia Bam, chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), said yesterday .

She was speaking at the KwaZulu-Natal legislature in Pietermaritzburg on the preparations for the 2009 election.

"This province, with all the difficulties it faced over the past 10 years, has still shown political tolerance. They are an example to other provinces," she said.

With 13 months to go before the election, Bam said that voter education and training of IEC facilitators would be intensified.

She said young and old needed to properly understand the election system and not just turn up on voting day. She challenged political parties to increase their voters.

"KZN, you can easily make 4,8 to 4,9million voters," she said.

Jabulani Maphalala, of the National Democratic Convention (Nadeco), said the only way the number of voters would increase was if ballot papers and voting information booklets were changed into isiZulu .

Bam said to avoid vote rigging, presiding officers would be screened by political parties beforehand.

The IEC's chief executive Pansy Tlakula said time lines had been set down for planning purposes. She said the voters' roll would be completed in February. - Sapa

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