1.3 million people could be struck off voters roll

Electoral Commission (IEC) commissioner Glen Mashinini.
Electoral Commission (IEC) commissioner Glen Mashinini.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

This story has been amended to add a correction about Mosotho Moepya to the article, see below:   ____________________________

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) could be forced to kick some 1.3 million people off the voters roll, should the Constitutional Court fail to grant it an extension in securing addresses for these voters.

Sowetan understands that the worst-case scenario for the IEC over the address issue would be if it was forced to invoke some sections of the Electoral Act as well as its regulations that would result in the voters being removed from the roll.

This would only happen, however, if the court does not agree to the extension the IEC has requested.

According to the IEC application for an extension submitted to the Constitutional Court, of the 1.3 million voters, the majority were from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

According to sources at the IEC, the commission was still puzzled over how these voters were registered without providing their full information, as required by law.

"We have a voters roll that is not compliant and if we remove these people according to Section 12 of the Electoral law we must notify them first.

"We must notify them by putting notices in the newspapers at local and national level, only then can they be removed," an IEC official said.

The IEC told parliament last week that it had approached the Constitutional Court for an extension.

Of the political parties, only the IFP has so far objected to the IEC's request for an extension.

Aside from issues around the addresses, the IEC was in the process of appointing three new commissioners to its top leadership.

A panel of Chapter 9 institution leaders, headed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, will begin interviews for the posts on June 25.

Twenty-six candidates have been shortlisted by the panel for the post and Mogoeng has called for input from the public by June 11.

Among the shortlisted candidates is former chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya, who stepped down from his post after refusing to be subjected to a disciplinary process linked to the public protector's report on irregularities in procuring the IEC headquarters.

The report culminated in former IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula resigning.

IEC spokeswoman Kate Bapela had not responded to questions.

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It was incorrectly stated Mosotho Moepya stepped down from his post. Moepya never stepped down from his post after refusing to be subjected to a disciplinary process; rather his term of office as chief electoral officer had come to an end and he declined the IEC’s offer for another five-year contract. At the same time, he was contesting the disciplinary process followed by the IEC, in the Labour Appeal Court. That case was postponed at the behest of the IEC. We apologise for the error.

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