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Yes, it is possible for a dead person to appear on the voters' roll, says IEC

07 May 2019 - 15:44 By Nonkululeko Njilo
More than 30,000 South Africans had applied to cast their vote at one of SA’s 121 foreign missions. File photo.
More than 30,000 South Africans had applied to cast their vote at one of SA’s 121 foreign missions. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images

The IEC in Limpopo said it was possible that one or more names of dead people were found on the special voters' roll at Kgwekgwe Secondary School in Tzaneen on Monday.

"It is quite possible. We do expect that to happen because once the document is certified it cannot be changed, so a person can die in between the process of applying and certification of the roll," explained IEC provincial manager Itumeleng Seanego. 

The commission received at least three complaints about dead people's names appearing on the list. 

Following the complaints, an investigation was launched. "We are looking into the incident. All we can do is go to home affairs to check if indeed the people are deceased then submit that information to the presiding officer of that voting station," said Seanego. 

Issac Bazooka uploaded photos of the roll on Twitter. They also showed people with the same cell phone number, one of which belonged to a local councillor. 

Commenting on the post, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said: "It might well be that the voters' roll of this country is rotten to the core."

The IEC said it was not impossible for the same cell number to be listed for more than one person.

"You will remember that this was a special voters' roll. These make up different people from the elderly, sick and pregnant, so with house visits, we insist on having a cellphone number.

"It is possible that a councillor might have applied on behalf of them and has their proxy. There is nothing untoward about it," said Seanego.

The post went viral with some people accusing the ANC of effectively using the dead to get votes. But Seanego said that was not possible.

"There are mechanisms in place to deal with such incidents. For example, each party is supposed to have two agents at the stations throughout the day to ensure transparency,  and these are people from or within the area so they know each other.

"It would be easy for them to identify people who pose as other people or the deceased," he said. 

Seanego said IEC officials and party agents were entitled to launch objections to prevent suspicious people from voting. 

"Anyone found to be doing such would be violating the rules of the IEC. That would be considered electoral fraud and they would face the full might of the law," he said.