Monday, November 29, 2021

IEC moves to foil vote trafficking

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Executive Secretary, Gabriel Seeletso Thursday convened an emergency meeting and put up a no-nonsense front in a bid to halt Selibe ÔÇôPhikwe politicians who are trafficking voters ahead of the 2014 general elections. At a meeting attended by Selibe Phikwe Police Station Commander, Victor Nlebesi, all Selibe Phikwe councilors and IEC staff Seeletso did not mince words as he warned the culprits to desist from the “criminal behaviour.”

Insiders say Seeletso’s strong reaction was an indicator of how serious the situation had become. “IEC officers were actually brokering the vote trafficking. Councilors would collect cars from members of the public and pay IEC officer to register them in their absence”, revealed a source. “This has never happened before. I never imagined this country would come to a point where now Omang cards of members of the public are collected and presented to IEC for registration in their absence for a fee. This is a new form of voter trafficking. I won’t be surprised in future if we hear reports that there are voters’ rolls with ghost voters” said the source. Selebi Phikwe Police Station Commander, Superintendent Victor Nlebesi confirmed the meeting with Seeletso on voter trafficking.

Asked if there has been any case of bribery reported to his office, Nlebesi said that there were such rumours but there has never been any formal complaint. Politicians were also reported to be ferrying members of the public outside Selibi Phikwe to register there. In a meeting he had with councilors on Wednesday, it is said that Seeletso warned politicians who are trafficking votes. IEC principal public relations officer, Osupile Maroba confirmed the impromptu meeting convened by Seeletso in Selibe Phikwe with IEC officials and councilors.

“Yes, the Executive Secretary had a meeting in Phikwe where he warned politicians to stop trafficking voters. People must vote in their principal residence. This complaint was raised by members of the public as they did not want to see what happened in the past elections,” he said. However, Maroba denied that there were some members of the IEC who were being bribed to register voters in their absence. He said they haven’t received such complaints and he doesn’t believe any IEC would do that as it is illegal.

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