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South Africa's 500,000 zombies who pitched up to vote...

By Adriana Stuijt     Feb 18, 2009 in Politics
With the next election planned for April 22 in South Africa, and the ruling African National Congress party split into two nasty, warring factions, questions now are finally being raised about the 500,000"deceased" people who had voted last time...
In 2006, when this mysterious event took place, opposition parties were accused of 'racism' whenever they dared to raise any questions about this massive army of zombie voters.
But this weekt the issue was finally raised by ANC-parliamentarians at the home-affairs' portfolio committee. Independent electoral commission CEO Pansy Tiokula was asked to please explain this problem this week - and she came up with a rather confusing answer. Those 500,000 officially 'deceased' voters who turned out to be on the voters' rolls wéren't really dead: after all, they had shown up to vote... so she simply put them back onto the voters' roll. Problem solved.
Thie fact that they'd shown up, she solemnly declared, was 'solid proof' that they were not dead after all.'
Sketching a scene worthy of a Monty Python script, she said the fault lay entirely with the country's population register: "In 2006, we had about, I think it was 500, 000 people, who were indicated as 'deceased' according to the Population Register. But they had physically come to the voting stations to register. So we had solid proof they were not deceased because they had physically presented themselves for registration."
Tlakula said this problem had now been sorted out, and the zombie-voters had been reinstated on the register: "So we (at the independent electoral commission) put them back on the Population Register because we had proof they were alive."
However, she added a warning that the zombie-voters wouldn't get away with it this time around: 'in the coming April 22 elections, if a person presents themselves... at the voting station and they are indicated as deceased on the Voters' Roll, we can't do anything about it".
Questioned about this by committee chairperson Patrick Chauke, she repeated: "If they are not on the Voters' Roll, they cannot vote."
Chauke described this as a serious problem, and pondered: "If we had 500 000 (deceased voters) then, how many do we have now? I'm very worried." new
Confused? Don't feel bad: so am I. And I have covered a great many South African elections over the years and thought I'd seen and heard it all...
More about Zombie voters, Deceased voters, Expats, April 2009
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