Image: Dinilohlanga Mekuto

The Electoral Commission in Limpopo says it had no choice but to dismiss two officials found to have tampered with voter registration at the Ephraim Mogale local municipality in Marble Hall, in order to safeguard its integrity.

The officials were fired on Saturday after allegedly being found in possession of a bunch of Identity Documents, whose owners were not at the registration station.

The station had opened for voter registration ahead of a by-election scheduled to take place at ward one following the death of a councillor.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) provincial leader says she was appalled to see IEC officials in possession of ID documents and using them to make amendments to voter registration, in the absence of their owners.

“The IEC officials who were there were having a pile of ID’s and they were busy registering them, verifying them when they find that you are not within the boundary of the demarcation they would have to create the address for you which is a very big fraud so what the IEC did, we are very much happy and we are saying it must be a learning curve as we still going to next year’s election,” EFF Limpopo chairperson says Tshilidzi Maraga.

Maraga says the officials are known African National Congress (ANC) members. This allegation was vehemently denied by the ruling party.

“We welcome the outcomes of the IEC investigation in relation to the baseless accusations by the EFF, the IEC outcomes is a clear demonstration that the ANC is a very clean organization, very credible which respects the democratic process. This is clear that we were not involved, the intention was to damage or reputable image,” says ANC Limpopo spokesperson, Jimmy Machaka.

The IEC says it immediately fired the officials to send a message that infringements of its operating procedures will not be tolerated.

“Both of them were dismissed, both officials that were at the voting station were actually dismissed and replaced. We felt that this matter was serious that this person acted outside the values that we normally teach when we train our registration officials because they need to act with integrity, the need to bed honest, not to show bias to any particular individual so she has broken all our values and has compromised our integrity as the electoral commission,” says Limpopo Electoral Officer, Nkaro Mateta.

The by-election is scheduled to be held on the 8th of November.