Times of Swaziland
25 September 2008
Over 2 000 voters did not vote at Kwaluseni
By MHLONISHWA MOTSA
MBABANE – Over 2 000 registered voters did not vote at Kwaluseni Umphakatsi during the primary elections.
The figures were revealed by the report compiled in the Deputy Registrar of the High Court, Thandi Maziya, in the case where former Kwaluseni MP Sibusiso Nkhambule is being challenged by about 38 voters.
The report reflects that 3 700 voters were registered at the polling station and only 1 486 voted during the primary elections.
This gives a difference of 2 214 voters who did not participate in the primary elections.
This data is also contained in the founding affidavit of Sibusiso ‘Mabhanisi’ Dlamini who is challenging the results of the elections.
According to Dlamini, the reason such a high number of people did not vote is inefficiency on the side of the EBC.
Dlamini alleges that the EBC did not provide enough ballot papers and as such voters were turned back.
"I submit further that the respondent has rendered the whole exercise a sham, as he should have printed at least over 4 000 ballot papers.
The respondent should have considered the number of people who registered and ballot papers that would be spoilt," said Dlamini.
This, according to Dlamini, deprived him a reasonable number of votes as voters did not vote because ballot papers were finished.
The court on Tuesday ruled that Thandi Maziya should conduct a recount of the votes and see if there were ballot papers left after the voting process.
The matter will return to court tomorrow for deliberations on the report.
‘... set results aside’
MBABANE – Sibusiso Nkambule’s rival in the primary elections, Sibusiso ‘Mabhanisi’ Dlamini has taken a different route to have the elections restarted.
After withdrawing his initial application at the High Court, Dlamini has since re-filed papers demanding that the results be set-aside.
Dlamini is leading 38 voters in the case against the EBC and the eventual winner Sibusiso Nkambule. He is cited as the first applicant in the filing notice.
This is despite that Dlamini was nominated for the parliamentary seat and initially stood for the race in the primary elections.
He was defeated by Nkambule with a margin of seven votes.
In the new papers filed, Dlamini has also included his founding affidavit, which is similar to the one he filed in his first application.
It is, however, not clear if Dlamini, in the new application is also alleging that he was denied the right to vote or not.
In the papers filed by Dlamini and the 38 others they are seeking an order directing the EBC to set-aside the results and restart the elections.
Kwaluseni impasse far from over?
MBABANE – The Kwaluseni constituency election impasse seems to be far from over as the High Court has ruled that the case be postponed to tomorrow for argument. This follows another ruling by Justice Jacobus Annandale on Tuesday ordering that a recount of the votes to be done.
Thirty eight voters have taken former MP Sibusiso Nkambule and the EBC to court for irregularities in the election process.
The purpose of the recount as ordered by the judge is to determine if any voting papers were left over after the primary elections.
A report has since been compiled by Deputy Registrar of the High Court Thandi Maziya and was presented to the Judge and counsels yesterday.
In a session held at the judge’s chambers, Justice Annandale ruled that the matter be postponed to tomorrow to allow him to acquaint himself with the papers.
The judge wanted to give counsels time to prepare their heads of arguments.
It was also established that the Judge demanded that a book of pleadings be prepared and attached to the case file in order to smooth the wheels justice in the case.
"The general view is that there were no ballot papers left," submitted Maziya in the report.
The applicants are contesting that lack of ballot papers was the only reason they were not allowed to vote.
The respondents, however, dispute this on the allegations that the applicants were not at the polling station on voting day.
This, according to Justice Annandale, necessitated the recount of the ballot papers and a thorough inspection to see if there are unused papers left during the voting process.
Appearing for the applicants is Professor Msibi whilst Mangaliso Nkomonde appears for Nkambule and Ticheme Dlamini for the EBC.