BORDER DISPUTE RAGES
CONTROVERSY continues to rage in the Matatiele border dispute, with fresh allegations by the South African Communist Party that the police are biased against their members.
Last week residents told the Constitutional Court that the government had not adequately consulted them over their incorporation into Eastern Cape from KwaZulu-Natal.
Their lawyer, Glen Goddard, said: "The outcome was predetermined. The discrete group was never asked to add their views."
He accused Parliament of being irrational in passing legislation that allowed the incorporation.
The SACP in Eastern Cape now says it want the government not to release the results of a recent poll conducted to determine the will of the majority. The community was asked to vote for incorporation into KwaZulu-Natal or Eastern Cape.
The SACP said the government should hold back the result until proper consultation had taken place, and the Constitutional Court has ruled.
The organisation said the police clearly helped those who wanted the region to fall under KwaZulu-Natal.
"They were openly harassing those who wanted to go to the polls to vote otherwise," the SACP's Simphiwe Thobela said.
Three Alfred Nzo ANC members, municipal speaker Nomvuyo Goya and two teachers, Bhedeshani Mceleni and Nomvula Qola, were arrested last Saturday after allegations that they tampered with ballots papers
Thobela also accused the police of arresting the trio while they had no concrete proof that they stole the ballot boxes.
"One person was passing by when some community members, who favoured KwaZulu-Natal, pointed him out as one of the suspects who stole ballot boxes," Thobela said.
He said the police did not play their role to maintain peaceful voting but had a political agenda.
"The voting process was not free at all and was a blatant fraud," Thobela said. "Had the police been effective they should have seen who stole ballot boxes because they were at all voting stations."
He called on the directorate of the public prosecutor to instigate an investigation into the matter.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson Superintendent Mzukisi Fatyela declined to comment on the allegations saying "as far as I know it is party agents who are responsible for any misconduct when voting take place".
The three suspects were yesterday denied bail at the Matatiele magistrate's court. The case was postponed to November 12.