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Journalist arrested for 'double voting' in Mpumalanga, 24 now facing charges

Twenty-four people have been arrested for double voting.
Twenty-four people have been arrested for double voting.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Mohau Mofokeng

Mpumalanga police said on Friday that two people - one of them a journalist - had been arrested for "double voting".

The two recent arrests were after suspects had posted video clips claiming to have voted twice. One of the suspects, according to the police, is a journalist.

In a statement, national spokesman Brig Vish Naidoo said that the two were arrested after a video was posted claiming that they had cast votes more than once.

"They were charged in terms of sections 88, 89 and 90 of the Eletoral Act 73 of 1998. We took them to the Barberton magistrate's court today where they appeared for the first time. They were granted bail of R1,000 each and now they are expected to reappear in the same court on the 28th of June."

They were identified as 52-year-old Etienne Mare and 57-year-old Malinda Halloway. They both appeared in court on Friday.

PODCAST: Smaller parties suspect fraud

Naidoo said: "On the day of the elections ... Mare posted a video claiming that he was on his way to vote for a second time after hearing from Malinda Halloway that she had been 'able to do so herself'. Today [Friday], police in Mpumalanga were able to track down the suspects and arrest them."

Earlier, police said that anyone who posted on social media about having voted more than once would be investigated and culprits brought to book.

The electoral commission has also warned on its social media platforms that undermining the election process – including removing the ink mark and voting more than once – "constitutes electoral fraud and is punishable by up to 10 years in jail".

The pair's arrest brings to 24 the number of people arrested pertaining to attempted double votes and double votes. Seventeen were from Danhauser, two from Hluhluwe, one from Izingolweni, one from Sawoti, one from Douglasdale, and now two from Barberton.

"On the question of the alleged 'double votes', that is a matter under investigation by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)," said Naidoo.

Several political parties staged a protest at the Independent Electoral Commission's results operations centre in Pretoria where they called for a rerun of the elections as the issue of people voting twice had brought the integrity of the polls into question. - Additional reporting TimesLIVE

Voters and politicians have said the indelible ink placed on the left thumbs of voters could easily be removed using cleaning products. IEC officials have said it is possible to vote more than once but doubts it would influence the election outcome. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive

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