8 October 2008
Chief Gija neutral in ‘No Problem’ case
By Sabelo Mamba
CHAIRMAN of the Elections and Boundaries Commission Chief Gija Dlamini has taken a neutral position in an elections case in which newly-elect Mtsambama Member of Parliament Bheki ‘No Problem’ Mkhonta is being challenged at the High Court.
In his answering affidavit, Chief Gija said he had considered the application brought by aspiring MPs Mlamuli Dlamini and Teddy Mavuso, who are seeking an order disqualifying Mkhonta for alleged malpractice.
The EBC chairman says he had come to the conclusion that he does not wish to participate in the case, but would abide by the decision of the High Court.
“An aspect of the matter in which the second respondent (EBC) reserves its right to be heard by the court, relates to the alternative prayer for setting aside and nullifying the secondary elections for Mtsambama Constituency held on September 19, 2008 and also a prayer seeking to direct a re-election to be conducted,” he explains.
In the court application, Dlamini (Mlamuli) claims that Mkhonta hired a van loaded with white and brown loaves of bread, which he distributed to the community during a campaigning exercise.
He argues that such act was in contravention of the Constitution and Elections Order, 1992.
Dlamini alleges that the soccer administrator did not only supply people with bread, but went to the extent of giving traditional leaders and other voters a lot of money.
He argues that the elections were neither free nor fair.
Dlamini also contends the elections were fraught with Mkhonta’s malpractice.
“I submit that in the circumstances the first respondent (Mkhonta) is liable to be disqualified from the elections in terms of the nature and repeated malpractice,” he says.
Dlamini is being represented by Titus Mlangeni.
The case will be heard tomorrow.