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'IEC afraid of own skeletons'

MPHO MOKWAPE
Duma Boko at the High Court PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Duma Boko has said the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) reasoning to block election material inspection was out of fear that more skeletons might tumble out of its closet.

In his response to the election body’s objection for ballot material inspection on Wednesday, Boko who is representing amongst others former Member of Parliament for Ghanzi North, Noah Salakae was questioning the IEC’s determination to block the inspection.

“The IEC are simply saying if the inspection is allowed you will find more chilling irregularities. But for us that is not what we are fishing for,” he said.

Boko said it was surprising that the IEC were adamant of objecting to the material that is not even in their custody while the custodian has no such objection.

He explained that the Registrar of High Court as per the law held the material and that the Registrar should have been the one to make such an objection if there was any issue with inspecting the material.

“The Registrar is the custodian of the ballot material and at present he has not objected to the inspection, one may wonder why IEC on the other hand is quick to object to the inspection especially that material is not even in their custody, they are just afraid that more skeletons will tumble out,” he said.

Boko said he was not sure of the secrecy the IEC was talking about regarding the election material since it is a public material and that they have the right to inspect them if they feel

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there were any irregularities that occurred during elections. He said the material is returned to the Registrar as the custodian and kept there for six months to allow such a petition so there was no need to block the inspection.

Meanwhile, Salakae in his petition contends that some ballot boxes retrieved from the truck that is the subject of a court case relating allegations of election rigging were sealed whilst others were not.

Salakae is demanding answers on why there was inconsistency in the matter.

He is petitioning the High Court about the outcome of the Ghanzi North constituency’s general election results.

He garnered 4, 717 votes while the ruling party’s candidate John Thiite won by 4, 893 votes. In his court papers, Salakae said he agreed with the IEC secretary, Keireng Zuze in her affidavit that the returning officer was obliged to deliver the election documents to the Registrar of the High Court.

However, he said in the present case, the returning officer had no intention to satisfy this obligation as the truck that was carrying ballot boxes for both Ghanzi North and Ghanzi South constituencies, was instead driven to Indaba Lodge and not the High Court premises. The case, which is set for final case management before trial, is before three panel of judges, namely Itumeleng Segopolo, Omphemetse Motumise and Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe.



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