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‘Free and fair municipal elections will be held next year’

The ConCourt ruled in favour of the Tlokwe independent candidates who challenged their election results.

FILE: The Constitutional Court ruled that the 2013 by-elections in Tlokwe were not free and fair, because people who lived outside the contested wards were allowed to register and vote in the elections. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it has already implemented measures to secure the integrity of voters' rolls as one of the problems identified in today's Constitutional Court ruling.

The court ruled that the 2013 by-elections in Tlokwe were not free and fair, because people who lived outside the contested wards were allowed to register and vote in the elections.

Eight independent candidates alleged that voter registration was conducted incorrectly and the voters roll was inaccurate.

IEC vice chair Terry Tselane says the commission has already implemented policy changes to address issues that arose in the Tlokwe case.

"To capture the addressed details, in advance of proclamation dates of an election, to enable the candidates to object to persons that may not qualify to register in the voting district as an intent to register and vote."

He says the commission has disseminated information warning the public about the serious consequences of committing electoral fraud.

Tselane has assured the country that free and fair municipal elections will be held next year.

'THE IEC WAS WRONG'

At the same time, in a unanimous judgment, the Constitutional Court says the elections must be rerun within 90 days.

Judges say it was wrong for the IEC to refuse to provide a voters roll with the names and addresses of voters, as this prevented the candidates from properly campaigning.

David Kham was one of the people who took the IEC to court.

"The arrogance displayed by the IEC is dismissed today by this judgment. We always wanted to engage with them, but they denied us that opportunity."

The judges also say it's 'troubling' that the electoral council is yet to properly explained how some people were registered in the wrong ward.

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