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MBABANE – A Sigangeni Member of Parliament (MP) nominee, who lost in the elections race, wants the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to reinstate some of his votes.

The votes that businessman Vusi Dlamini is demanding are for people who were turned away, while others were counted as spoilt votes during the primary elections held on August 26, 2023. Dlamini is the owner of popular eatery, Futi’s. The filing of the claim to the EBC came a day after the primary elections. According to some nominees, who also presented their testimonies in writing to the EBC, on the day, there were complaints raised by some members of the electorate about certain voters in the queue. It was alleged that the voters were not known by some people from the community.


The security together with the EBC officials who were on the ground, according to the affidavits that were filed to the EBC, ordered six voters to leave the voting station. It is alleged that 21 other voters were turned back but their particulars were not recorded on the day. It is alleged that these voters actually belonged to Dlamini. During the counting, drama unfolded when some of the nominees expressed that they were unhappy with the entire elections as they believed that some of the voters were not from the area. All people who had complaints were advised to file reports to the EBC. These reports were filed with the EBC on August 28, 2023. The consolidated list from the EBC suggests that the overall winner for MP candidate was Witness Dlamini with 440 votes, while Vusi was the runner-up with 432 votes. Vusi also filed with the EBC to reinstate his votes, including those which were spoilt and were found in the container that had indvuna yenkhundla nominees’ votes. This was on the basis that the voters who were removed from the line were said to be allowed to vote later on. Adding, it was noted that if the residents had reservations about some voters, they were supposed to have objected to the voters roll as per the Voters Registration Act, not on the day of the voting.


According to findings of an investigation that was done by the EBC, during the course of the voting process, an EBC official was approached by a senior community member, who expressed concern that some of the voters in the queue were allegedly not from the area. The officer in the report by the EBC said they were not eager to remove them, given the fact that there were no objections that were made in the voters roll during the validation exercise, which was completed on July 12, 2023. “He wanted them removed from the queue. I informed him that it would be illegal for us to do that since we had no proof of what he was saying. I said if the voters were registered under the inkhundla on the voters roll, there was no way we could have them removed,” reads the report by the official. The report cites that a while later, the senior community member returned with the same complaint and stated that some members of the community were unhappy that there were people they did not know, who were queuing to vote.

Two presiding officers were said to have been alerted, including the security personnel on the ground. “I then went to the gate to assess the situation and confirmed that what he was saying was true as some members of the public were unhappy. I alerted Stream Two Presiding Officer Gcamile Dlamini and we agreed that the matter was beyond our control. I then informed the police officers present (Sergeant Aaron Magongo and Nompumelelo Mavimbela) about the situation. They also did their own assessment and advised that we approach the questionable candidates and remove them from the queue in order to bring order to the process,” reads the report. According to reports that were filed to the EBC by the officer, their intention was to calm the public down and then allow them to vote later once they had ascertained what the challenge was. The six were said to have cooperated and moved out of the queue.


It is reported that there were rumours that the six voters in question were to support one of the candidates MP nominee Vusi, who was also invited to join the EBC teams on the ground for a discussion on the matter. “The discussion involved community leadership, Vusi, I and the security personnel. Vusi admitted knowing the potential voters and he requested that we interview them and allow them to leave,” reads the report. Details of the candidates were collected and the voting process continued until the closing time. However, other nominees continued to raise concerns that they were unhappy with the elections process as they felt some of the voters were not from the area. They were also advised to document the events of the day and present them to EBC as well.

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