Court rejects GOOD application over George by-election


On Wednesday, the electoral court dismissed GOOD’s application to postpone by-elections on George.

Brett Herron, GOOD’s secretary general, and Donovan Saptoe, GOOD’s regional coordinator, accuse the DA of electoral fraud of which alleged evidence was submitted to the court, but according to the party was not fully investigated.

“The evidence included affidavits from (alleged) culprits, confessions that they had falsely registered voters in intermediate constituencies, as well as ID numbers, names and the real home addresses of fraudulently registered voters,” say Herron and Saptoe.

“We respect the independence of the judiciary as a cornerstone of our democracy, but sometimes the judiciary is wrong. The electoral court’s rejection of our application to postpone by-elections is such a case.”

Herron and Saptoe believe it is unacceptable to allow the by-elections to continue in these circumstances.

“In a country where corruption is already rampant, it sends a message that fraud is acceptable.

“GOOD will not leave the case here, regardless of the outcome of the by-election. We will take further steps to force the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to sanitize the electoral roll.”

Tertuis Simmers, the DA’s provincial leader in the Western Cape, says the party takes note of the court decision and has also reliably learned that a case of intimidation has been filed against Herron and Saptoe at the Conville police station on George.

“The complainant is a voter who accuses Herron and Saptoe of aggressively trying to force him to sign a false affidavit – written by Herron himself.”

Simmers says the complainant claims he was urged to sign a statement that DA recruiters misled and manipulated him to register illegally.

“It is almost unthinkable that senior members of a political party behave like this,” says Simmers.

“We are shocked by Herron and Saptoe’s (alleged) illegal actions. GOOD almost doesn’t exist anymore, and their actions are a desperate attempt to stay relevant.”

According to Simmers, the DA is also aware of other incidents of alleged intimidation by GOOD, and additional charges may be filed against Herron and Saptoe.

“The DA will support the victims in these processes and will also file a complaint against GOOD in terms of the Electoral Act, the Municipal Elections Act as well as the Electoral Code of Conduct.

“GOOD has completely lost its focus and its intention is no longer to serve residents. It’s just a fight for survival.”

Herron and Saptoe say there is no point in appealing against the verdict because the by-election will take place long before the case can be heard.

“Should the IEC refuse to undertake this important task voluntarily, we will return to the electoral court.”

GOOD also says that with a national election around the corner, the integrity of the IEC’s systems is of national importance.