IEC slip-up hurt campaign, says independent candidate

Independent candidate Emile Williams says his campaign has been hurt by IEC bungling.

An independent candidate in Kuils River says bungling by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has hurt his election campaign.

Emile Williams, who is running for office in Ward 11, says the IEC’s provincial office gave him the wrong voters roll, thwarting his efforts to woo voters.

He could only start campaigning on Friday October 15 once he had the right voters roll, he says.

Mr Williams, who claims to have already spent R20 000 on his campaign, says he was issued with a voters roll, on a USB drive, for Ward 9 in Bellville.

The voters roll shows how many voters are registered in a ward and where they live. This helps candidates decide where to target their electioneering efforts.

Mr Williams says he also had to finalise his candidacy application at the IEC’s Athlone office after he was given the wrong forms at the Bellville office. An application that should have taken a day took two days and a trip to Athlone, he says.

Isaac Jenecke, Mr Williams’s campaign manager, emailed the IEC’s provincial office, asking it to look into the matter, which, he says, cost Mr Williams 10 days of campaigning.

“They phoned and apologised and gave us a new list,” he says. “However, the candidate was prejudiced in so far as he fell behind.”

IEC provincial electoral officer Michael Hendrickse says they no longer issue physical copies of the voters roll because it can fill up a ream of paper.

IEC spokesman Trevor Davids says the matter was resolved with Mr Jacobs, but Mr Jacobs doesn’t seem to think so.

“The problem with these people is they made the mistake and now I must go from Athlone to Kuils River to fix their mistake.

“Time is money, and these days time is votes. They have to be professional. They should have fixed this by themselves. The future of people is at stake here.”