Mmegi Online :: Nation on knife-edge as EVMs case gets underway
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Last Updated
Tuesday 26 September 2017, 06:00 am.
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Nation on knife-edge as EVMs case gets underway

FRANCISTOWN: The Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) case, which analysts say has the potential to polarise the nation, is about to go before Justice Lot Moroka of the Francistown High Court.
By Lebogang Mosikare Fri 16 Jun 2017, 17:45 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Nation on knife-edge as EVMs case gets underway








The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has instituted legal action against the Attorney General (AG), Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Secretary to the IEC respectively. Yesterday, BCP attorney, Gabriel Komboni told the court that the second and third respondents in the matter were absent from court.

“I suppose that they have filed a notice to abide by the court decision.  The parties have agreed to meet on July 26 to map the way forward in the case,” Komboni said. 

Attorney for the AG, Matlhogonolo Phuthego agreed with what Komboni had said. Justice Lot Moroka advised the parties in the case to deal with all interlocutory applications on their own to prevent bringing mundane issues to court.  He set the matter for the initial case management conference for August 23, 2017.

Asked outside court by journalists, Phuthego was of the strong belief that the respondents would prevail against the BCP at the end of the case. He said they even went to India to gather enough evidence about the use of the EVMs, adding that he was happy because they met experts who knew a lot about them. Phuthego also said the BCP has served them with some papers on Wednesday and should apply for condonation of late filing of papers. 

“The BCP said it filed some papers late because of lack of resources. We are to meet the client to get instructions about what to do with the BCP’s late filing of some papers. The BCP says it wants to engage some experts to show that

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indeed the EVMs are not tamper-proof.

We don’t have a problem with that and we are ready to meet them on July 26 (2017),” said Phuthego.  He added that the IEC has also said it would engage experts from where the EVMs would be procured to prove its case in court. Asked about the late filing of papers that Phuthego told the media about, Komboni said the AG will be within its rights to get instructions of what to do with the BCP’s late filing of some papers from its clients.

Komboni said they have filed their papers nine days out of time, but have made an application for condonation of late filing of papers, which has reasons for the late filing of the declaration.

“There is nothing unusual about late filing of documents. This is done every now and then. They (respondents) have to consider our application, but they are yet to do so. 

I don’t know how they will react. Basically, depending on how they react, they will be within their rights.  The court will in the end decide about that,” Komboni said.

He said in any event, if the respondents have qualms about their late filing, it would just be a delaying tactic on their part because they have said that they want the matter to be expedited because it is of great national importance. The BCP is of the view that the EVMs are prone to manipulation and can be hacked in favour of the BDP, hence its abhorrence of the gadgets.

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