Elections 2019 – prisoners

Dit wil gedoen wees – beloftes maak skuld of hoe – jy mag in ‘n ander man se huis inbreek, hom of haar aanrand en beroof – maar jy mag ook jou kruisie gaan trek.  Nou hoe is dit moontlik?  met die ANC is enige iets moontlik en selfs vir die ander politieke partye ook.  Nog iets – wanneer ‘n gewone burger aansoek doen vir ‘n identiteit dokument neem dit 6 weke voor dit ontvang word.  Hoeveel regte het ‘n misdadiger – bo en behalwe ‘n dak oor die kop, 3 borde kos ‘n dag, genoeg studie materiaal en selfs as jy jou “bekeer” kan daar ‘n besigheid begin word met “belastinggeld”.   So hulle stap in as misdadigers en stap uit as ‘n besigheidspersoon.  Lyk hulle hoegenaamd “ondervoed”

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Elections – 2019 (prisons SA)

About 160 000 prisoners in South Africa will have an opportunity to register to vote in the upcoming 2019 National and Provincial Elections.

While the last voter registration weekend will be on 26 and 27 January, inmates will get an opportunity to register on 22 – 23 January.

The Electoral Commission, which will conduct the process is appealing with family members in possession of offenders’ identity documents (IDs) to make arrangements to deliver these.

South African prisoners need identity documents

The IDs should be delivered to the relevant correctional facility by Monday, 21 January.

“Most offenders do not keep their ID documents with them and they are often kept at home by family members,” Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said on Thursday.

The production of an official ID – either a smart card ID, a barcoded ID book or a temporary ID certificate – is necessary to register as a voter.

In the past, Mamabolo said this has inhibited voter registration among inmates.

According to the Correctional Services Department, there are approximately 160 000 offenders, including remand detainees, in South Africa’s 240 prisons.

Constutional right to vote in elections

Correctional Services said preparations are in place to keep the IDs safe for the offenders until the voter registration.

After registration, these documents will be returned to family members during their next visit.

Since 1999, the Electoral Commission has worked closely with the Department of Correctional Services to provide voter registration and voting opportunities for inmates.

This is in line with the Constitutional right extended to prisoners to vote.

Inmates are registered to vote in the municipality in which they resided prior to incarceration.

Click to access 3.pdf

The Context
[1] The issue before this Court concerns the voting rights of prisoners. It arises in
an appeal against the judgment of Els J in the Transvaal High Court which in effect held that the Electoral Commission (the Commission) had no obligation to ensure
that awaiting trial and sentenced prisoners may register and vote in the general
elections which has been announced for 2 June 1999.
[2] In the first democratic elections held five years ago, Parliament determined
that, with certain specified exceptions, all prisoners could vote.

The interim Constitution provided for universal adult suffrage and did not expressly disqualify any prisoners. It did, however, provide that disqualifications could be prescribed by law.

The Electoral Act (the 1993 Electoral Act) disqualified persons on four grounds, two of which related to mental incapacity, the third to drug dependency and the fourth to imprisonment for specified serious offences.

More specifically, section 16(d) of the 1993 Electoral Act declared that no person shall be entitled to vote in the election if that person was:

“(d) detained in a prison after being convicted and sentenced without the option of a fine in respect of . . . (i) [m]urder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and rape;   or (ii) any attempt to commit [such an] offence. . .”

All other prisoners were therefore entitled to vote. This Act went on to state that the
Commission should make regulations providing for voting stations for and the
procedure regulating the casting and counting of votes by prisoners and persons
awaiting trial, other than those specifically excluded.

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