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

10 May 2019 - 17:43 By TimesLIVE
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".

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

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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 Electoral Commission (IEC)," said Naidoo.

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.