Knives out in Cape ballot
Mandy Rossouw & Glynnis Underhill
Mail and Guardian
Feb 18 2011 07:50
Allegations of bribery, threats of violence and unconstitutional decisions by leaders about who can vote lie in the wake of the recent conference in which deputy minister of international relations Marius Fransman was chosen as African National Congress (ANC) chairperson in the Western Cape.
Two affidavits in the possession of the Mail & Guardian claim Fransman's supporters tried to bribe delegates to persuade them to vote for candidates who would support him at the regional conference or to vote for him at the provincial conference from February 11 to February 13 in Cape Town.
According to one affidavit, date-stamped February 8 by the South African Police Service, a delegate at the West Coast regional conference in Clanwilliam was asked to "make his price" for his vote.
ANC delegate and branch chairperson Johannes Snyders, who is a school janitor in Eendekuil outside Piketberg, says in his one-page affidavit that two delegates who supported Fransman offered him money for his vote.
"On Saturday, January 4 at about 18h00, I was in Clanwilliam. We were approached and told that we must say what amount of money we want in order for us to side with them."
'Money was offered to me'
In an interview with the M&G, Snyders confirmed the contents of the affidavit, saying the bribe followed three rounds of voting that took place at the conference for which each round was equally divided between the two candidates.
The provincial task team member who allegedly made the offer is known to the M&G and named in the affidavit, but he could not be reached for comment.
Said Snyder: "They knew that we were [Fransman's rival Mcebisi] Skwatsha people and they said that they don't have a lot of money, but if we make our price, they would be able to accommodate us."
In another affidavit, ANC volunteer Zola Lamla says he was offered money to vote for Fransman. The affidavit does not specify the amount.
"I was approached on Monday, February 7, and money was offered to me to vote for the Marius Fransman group," Lamla's affidavit says. This week Lamla refused to comment on the affidavit. The person who allegedly made the offer is also known to the M&G, but could not be reached for comment.
In an interview with the M&G, Fransman denied knowledge of these bribe attempts and said he would denounce any such acts if he knew they were taking place.
A Fransman supporter, Reginald Patience, the secretary of the Coniff January branch in the rural town of Riebeeck, told the M&G this week that a supporter of Skwatsha had threatened he would come to his home "to shoot him".
This allegedly followed an altercation with a group of Skwatsha supporters outside a Cape Town hotel where both camps were staying.
'Not in good standing'
Meanwhile, Western Cape ANC structures sent at least two letters appealing against the outcome to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe this week, complaining about the voting rights given to the ANC Youth League at the conference.
At a press conference in Cape Town this week, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel said Fransman's election was legitimate and that people "must not cry foul later".
The decision to allow the youth league to vote was taken after consultation with the national executive and after all 721 delegates had voted on the matter, Manuel said.
However, some members of the youth league provincial task team, which was set up after the league was disbanded in the Western Cape last year, have sent letters of appeal claiming irregularities at the conference, the M&G has learned.
Complaints from other delegates centred on the decision that a vote should be taken at the conference about whether the youth league should vote. "This should not have even been considered as the youth league had been dissolved and was not in good standing," said an ANC delegate.
When credentials were presented at the conference, delegates were simply told that the youth league would vote, the M&G has established. This was allegedly contested in the plenary at the conference.
"It didn't go down well and it was rejected," said an ANC voting delegate supporting the Skwatsha camp. "It was forced on us. The majority view was that the youth league should not vote, but Trevor Manuel ruled that the conference should take a vote on whether the youth league should vote, and ruled that the youth league should also vote on the matter, which presented a conflict."
The outcome of this vote was that the youth league would vote, the delegate said. The Skwatsha camp saw this as swinging the vote in favour of Fransman because the majority of the youth league backed him.
The provincial ANC Women's League has also sent a letter of appeal, based on irregularities it believed occurred at the Western Cape provincial conference.
» » » » [Mail & Guardian]
‘Bribes’ offered to voters
March 4 2011 at 07:42am
By Nompumelelo Magwaza, IOL
New houses in the planned mixed-use Cornubia development, as well as jobs and cash, have been offered as “sweeteners” to induce potential voters to fraudulently register in upmarket Umhlanga and vote for the ANC on May 18, despite living elsewhere in Durban.
An investigation by The Mercury has linked the alleged inducements directly to a member of the ANC’s Umhlanga branch (Ward 35), whose name is known to the newspaper.
Potential voters interviewed said they had been promised a range of inducements to persuade them to register in Umhlanga, although they did not live in the suburb, which voted overwhelmingly for the DA in the last election.
At the top of the list of alleged sweeteners offered to some residents of Inanda, more than 20km from Umhlanga, as well as other areas, including Mayville, Umlazi and KwaMashu, was the promise of new homes in the multimillion-rand Cornubia development.
Several voters and recruiters interviewed by The Mercury spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing they would not get their promised homes or would be targeted for speaking to the media.
Some recruiters were paid between R500 and R700 and promised homes in Cornubia.
Those who had registered and were interviewed confirmed they had been offered jobs or houses to register and vote for the ANC candidate.
Others spoke of a community outreach project that would be established.
There were also promises of study bursaries.
In Inanda, residents identified a local ANC member as the person who organised 12 field workers to recruit potential voters from outside Umhlanga.
The recruiters were expected to assign false addresses to prospective voters to create the illusion they were Umhlanga residents. The Independent Electoral Commission does not require proof of residence for registration.
“On that morning (of voter registration), when we came in numbers, people at some stations became suspicious and started check ing addresses, but we were okay because we had used addresses in Umhlanga,” said a recruiter.
Some of the addresses given on voter registration forms include Pumpkin, Lettuce and Crocodile streets, which do not fall within Umhlanga’s boundaries, but in neighbouring Waterloo.
In one instance followed up by The Mercury, a woman gave her residential address as the premises of the Natal Sharks Board.
Confronted by The Mercury, she admitted to the fraud, but said she had been promised a job.
Others spoken to said they had also been told they should merely put their cross next to the face of the “mlungu” (white person) beside the ANC logo on election day.
Two Umlazi residents defended their actions, saying they worked in Umhlanga.
One, a bank employee, questioned why The Mercury was investigating the issue. “Is it wrong for black people to register in Umhlanga?” he said.
Another, who worked for Sars, was dismissive. “So, what do you want me to do about it?” he said.
DA councillor Heinz de Boer said about 450 voters from Inanda, KwaMashu, Umlazi, Waterloo and other areas were brought in to register in Umhlanga during the last registration weekend.
The DA subsequently embarked on a door-to-door verification mission to substantiate its complaint to the IEC.
“About 700 forms from the IEC are in our possession. We have started sifting through them to see if the addresses exist. The DA believes that about 450 of these forms might be fraudulent,” De Boer said.
ANC regional secretary Sbu Sibiya confirmed his party was aware that people living outside the ward had been brought into Umhlanga to vote.
An ANC councillor had reported to the regional ANC that people had been bused to ward 35, Sibiya said.
“We will be visiting the area tomorrow (on Friday) to find out what exactly has happened in that ward.”
The Mercury has also learnt that a public meeting of ANC supporters was called in Inanda on Wednesday night.
At the meeting, it was decided that in light of the DA sounding the alarm, and reports in The Mercury and on radio stations, residents should tread carefully if they planned to register in Umhlanga tomorrow and on Sunday.
The ANC has not yet announced its Umhlanga candidate for the local government poll.
The Mercury was able to speak to Ward 35 ANC chairman and businessman Roy Moodley. He denied all knowledge of any alleged electoral shenanigans by members of his party in the area.
“I do not know what you are talking about. As chairman of the branch, I have no idea what you are alluding to.
“If it is true, I will ask someone to write to me and make a formal complaint.”
Moodley said that the man implicated was not the type of person who would promise people houses and jobs in exchange for votes.
Saying he was currently out of the country, Moodley said he would speak to The Mercury only after a formal complaint was lodged.
“I cannot trust what you saying because it might be possible that you have been talking to other politicians about it,” Moodley said. - The Mercury
» » » » [IOL]
One chicken, one vote
News 24 / Cedric Mboyisa, City Press
Johannesburg - Drumsticks, thighs, wings. Lift-off. It’s an election manifesto with a difference as wannabe councillors find meaty ways to get votes.
In Gauteng, an incumbent councillor in Ekurhuleni has been accused of giving chicken portions and alcohol to buy votes, while rural people in KwaZulu-Natal were given money and alcohol to disrupt a community meeting and vote for their preferred candidate.
ANC spokesperson Brian Sokuthu warned against this “un-ANC” behaviour, saying it was not the culture and tradition of the party to buy votes.
“In fact, buying votes is un-ANC. If these claims are brought to our attention we should be able to investigate them,” Sokutu warned.
Community members are up in arms in ward 60 in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, over claims that councillor John Thaba gave out chicken packs, money and alcohol to win votes in Sphamandla informal settlement. At least eight community members confirmed the chicken bribe claims.
Thaba would neither confirm nor deny the allegations levelled against him. “You can put it in the newspaper; it is not going to make any difference. I am still going to be a councillor. I can’t say whether they are lying or not,” he said, ending the call.
An employee of a major retail shop in the area said: “People came here with big trolleys and bought all the chicken. There was nothing left.”
A community member warned that councillors are taking advantage of poor people. After Sphamandla residents were fed chicken on the evening of January 8, they were then transported in a truck to a local school where they voted in favour of Thaba, said a source.
An elderly woman said her neighbours received chicken portions. “JT (Thaba) fed these people.”
A community leader said the gogo sitting in front of him on voting day unknowingly blurted out the chicken bribe scandal. “I overheard this old woman saying, ‘is he (Thaba) the one who gave us chicken yesterday’. She was not aware that it was supposed to be a secret,” the leader said.
This has infuriated ANC members who said that Thaba works against party guidelines.
“He is making us despise the ANC we love so much. The ANC is going to lose this ward if it goes ahead and chooses him to serve as a councillor again,” said an ANC member who lives in the area.
In rural Gcilima, near Margate in KwaZulu-Natal, money and alcohol was also used to try and influence the outcome of the nomination process.
“People were given money and alcohol. The purpose was for them to disrupt the meeting and vote for a particular candidate. They tried to corrupt the processes of the ANC but failed,” a community member said.
» » » » [News 24]
ANC denies bribing youths with drugs
Pretoria - The ANC in Mpumalanga described as wild allegations that some members in Delmas were bribing youth members with drugs for election as candidates ahead of the local government elections.
This after the Democratic Alliance issued a statement on Thursday saying it had learned about this through a current affairs programme on Ikwekwezi FM.
The party's James Masango said this was echoed by an ANC member while speaking to the Nkangala district mayor Speedy Mashilo.
"The DA was shocked to hear this...ANC members are so obsessed with positions, personal benefits and power to such an extent that responsibility and morality means nothing to them as long as they get what they want," said Masango.
ANC spokesperson Paul Mbenyane said it was "mischievous of the DA to come up with "wild allegations without facts.”
Mbenyane said: "Who are ANC candidates anyway because the ANC has not yet pronounced itself publicly on the final list of those who would be its candidates for the 2011 local government elections.
"Let the ANC be allowed space to finalise its internal processes without any hindrance," said Mbenyane.
He said the ANC was a serious organisation and did not want to be reduced by entertaining the DA.
"The ANC would like to re-iterate its stance…that of being zero tolerant to any form of criminality no matter who commits it for whatever reason or motive."
» » » » [News 24]
One-third of Zimbabwe's voters already dead
Jan 21, 2011 1:03 PM
Researchers say nearly one-third of Zimbabwe's 5.5 million registered voters are dead, and others appear to be up to 120 years old, well exceeding life expectancy in the southern African nation.
The independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network says the list should be overhauled before elections scheduled this year. Their report released Friday also found that some 40 percent of voters had moved without updating their voting information.
The group says such problems open the way for "double voting and other rigging intentions."
Health authorities say Zimbabwe's average life expectancy is 44. President Robert Mugabe, 86, has ruled the country since 1980.
Rights groups have accused Mugabe and his loyalists of human rights violations and election rigging.
» » » » [Sunday Times]
Roy Bennett's 10 Nov Speech to UK Parliament:
Thanks for Our Zimbabwean ‘Democracy’, i.e. Terror & Torture Vote Rigging Elections!
Roy Bennett Speech in Paris on Wednesday when he gave the key-note speech before Morgan Tsvangirai was awarded his Democracy award
UK Parliament - House of Commons and House of Lords
10 November 2010
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
For us in Zimbabwe, elections have brought us 30 years of torment, torture and death. What I want to give you now is not an academic analysis, but rather a personal, real life sense of the pain that this period has brought—to give you an idea of what elections mean for the ordinary Zimbabwean. I also want to explain how this nightmare has evolved and from it, urge that all opinion-makers are mobilised throughout the international community as yet another ‘election’ is to be held in Zimbabwe.
Unlike many countries in Africa, Zimbabwe has held many elections. We have held them on time and managed the mechanics of voting relatively efficiently. This poses an obvious question: why would a regime which believes it has a God-given right to rule in perpetuity bother with elections? The answer to this has its roots in an election which took place in February 1980 and in turn provided the basis for the formation of an independent Zimbabwe.
Robert Mugabe and his party, Zanu, had been fighting a war of liberation from colonial domination supported in that cold war era by China. Zanu’s leaders were deeply sceptical about participating in elections because it believed these would be rigged against them. Zanu was forced into this election by their main guerrilla host sponsors, Mozambique and Tanzania.
Zanu participated reluctantly and angrily—yet they also came up with a plan to ensure a manufactured majority of Zimbabweans would vote for them. Advised and trained by Peking at the time, they did this by terrorising and brutalising the rural population which, then, as now, constitutes the bulk of our people.
Zimbabwe Election Vote Rigging/Stolen Ballots
Terror was not new to Mugabe’s army, Zanla. These guerrilla forces operated largely in the Shona-speaking areas of Zimbabwe, during the liberation war. They relied heavily on Mao Tse Tung’s strategy of terror. Arbitrary killings were the chosen means of putting the fear of God—or, more correctly, the fear of Satan—into innocent, defenceless rural peasant people. One of many techniques was to force so-called “sell outs” or ‘collaborators’ to lie on the ground while their family members were forced to beat them to death. Others were tied with wire and shot at point blank range. One terrible instance remains raw in my mind. These ‘Liberation heroes’ took a metal bar, heated it red hot, made a crook on its end, and disembowelled a woman. Her young daughter was buried alive alongside her. The whole village was forced to watch.
» » » » [Read Further]