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Electoral Act
Modified February 04, 2002

Contents

PART VII

Objections to Registration of Voters

25. Objections by constituency registrar
26. Objections by voters
27. Hearing and determination of objections by designated magistrate and procedure thereon
28. Statement of case for opinion of judge in chambers
29. Posting of names of persons objected to

25 Objections by constituency registrar

(1) If a constituency registrar has reason to believe that— (a) a claimant is not entitled to be registered; or (b) a claimant is not entitled to be registered on the voters’ roll on which he has claimed to be registered; or (c) a voter registered on a voters’ roll is not qualified for registration on that voters’ roll;

he shall send to the claimant or voter, as the case may be, written notice of objection to which a form of notice of appeal shall be annexed: Provided that no such objection shall be taken or notice sent during the period between the issue of a proclamation referred to in section 38 or 39 and the close of polling at the election to which such proclamation relates.

(2) A notice of objection in terms of subsection (1) shall be in the prescribed form and shall set forth—

(a) the grounds of objection; and (b) that, unless notice of appeal is given within a time stated therein, being not less than seven days, or the constituency registrar, on representations made by the person to whom the objection relates, withdraws his objection, the claim will be rejected and the claimant registered on the appropriate voters’ roll or the voter’s name struck off the voters’ roll, as the case may be. (3) If— (a) notice of appeal is not duly given or is withdrawn or the constituency registrar does not withdraw his objection, the constituency registrar shall reject the claim, register the claimant on the appropriate voters’ roll or strike the voter’s name off the voters’ roll, as the case may be; (b) notice of appeal is duly given— (i) the constituency registrar shall, unless he withdraws his objection, forthwith set down the objection for hearing before a designated magistrate of the province in which the claimant or voter resides; and (ii) the designated magistrate shall appoint a day and place for the hearing, the day so appointed being not more than 30 days after the date of receipt of the notice of appeal.

(4) The constituency registrar shall give written notice to the appellant of the day and place appointed for the hearing.

(5) A notice of appeal shall be accompanied by the sum of $50 as a deposit. (6) The appellant may withdraw his appeal on written notice to the constituency registrar and—

(a) if the objection has been set down in terms of subsection (3) for hearing, the constituency registrar shall notify the designated magistrate of such withdrawal; and (b) the sum deposited in terms of subsection (5) shall be forfeited and the money paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund unless the constituency registrar is satisfied that there was good reason for the appeal and the withdrawal thereof and has authorised the refund of such sum.

26 Objections by voters

(1) A voter may object to the retention of any name on the voters’ roll of the constituency in which he himself is registered. (2) An objection in terms of subsection (1) shall be— (a) in writing, setting forth the grounds of the objection; and (b) lodged in duplicate with the constituency registrar; and (c) accompanied by the prescribed deposit. (3) If an objection in terms of subsection (1) is lodged and— (a) the constituency registrar upholds the objection, he shall give written notice accordingly to—

(i) the voter who has objected and refund the whole of the sum deposited in terms of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) or, where the effect of upholding the objection is to strike the name of the person to whom the objection relates off the voters’ roll or to place it on another voters’ roll, refund half such sum; and

(ii) the person to whom the objection relates, where the effect of upholding the objection is to strike his name off the voters’ roll or to place it on another voters’ roll:

Provided that if the voter who has objected returns the sum to the constituency registrar accompanied by a written notice to the effect that he wishes the objection to be heard, or if the person to whom the objection relates gives the constituency registrar notice to the effect that he wishes the objection to be heard, paragraph (b) shall apply as if the constituency registrar did not uphold the objection;

(b) the constituency registrar does not uphold the objection, he shall—

(i) forthwith set down the objection for hearing before a designated magistrate of the province in which the person to whom the objection relates resides; and (ii) the designated magistrate shall appoint a day and place for the hearing, the day so appointed being not more than 30 days after the date of lodging of the objection.

[Subsection (3) as substituted by s. 3 of Act 2 of 2002.]

(4) The constituency registrar shall— (a) give written notice to the person lodging the objection and to the person to whom the objection relates of the day and place appointed for the hearing; and (b) send with such notice to the person to whom the objection relates a copy of the objection, setting forth the grounds thereof.

(5) Notwithstanding anything in this section, if the constituency registrar receives an objection in terms of subsection (1) during the period of 30 days immediately prior to the polling day or first polling day, as the case may be, fixed for an election in the constituency in which the person to whom the objection relates is registered, he shall take no action on such objection until after the close of the polling day or last polling day, as the case may be. (6) A voter who has objected in terms of this section may withdraw his objection on written notice to the constituency registrar and—

(a) the constituency registrar shall notify the person to whom the objection relates and the designated magistrate of such withdrawal; and

(b) the sum deposited in terms of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) shall be forfeited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund unless the constituency registrar is satisfied that there was good reason for the objection and the withdrawal thereof and has authorised the refund of such sum; and

(c) no further proceedings shall be taken in relation to that objection.

27 Hearing and determination of objections by designated magistrate and procedure thereon

(1) On the hearing of an objection in terms of section 25 or 26 by a designated magistrate the following provisions shall apply—

(a) the person lodging the objection may appear either in person or by an agent appointed in writing under his hand; (b) the person to whom the objection relates may—

(i) appear either in person or by an agent appointed in writing under his hand; or

(ii) forward by post addressed to the designated magistrate a statement in writing, signed by him and witnessed by another voter of the same constituency, setting forth his reasons for his claim or for remaining on the voters’ roll, as the case may be;

(c) if the person lodging the objection does not appear as provided in paragraph (a), the designated magistrate shall disallow the objection unless the person to whom the objection relates has, in writing, admitted the validity of the objection;

(d) if the person to whom the objection relates has, in writing, admitted the validity of the objection, the designated magistrate shall direct the constituency registrar—

(i) in the case of a claim for registration as a voter, to reject the claim or to register the voter on the correct voters’ roll;

(ii) in the case of an objection to a registered voter, to strike his name off the voters’ roll or to place it on the correct voters’ roll;

(e) if the person lodging the objection appears as provided in paragraph (a), the designated magistrate shall hear and determine the objection and may direct the constituency registrar—

(i) in the case of a claim, to register the claimant or reject the claim; or

(ii) in the case of an objection to a registered voter, to retain his name on the voters’ roll, to place it on the correct voters’ roll or to strike it off the voters’ roll; as he may think fit;

(f) no grounds of objection shall be entertained except such as are specifically set forth in the objection as lodged;

g) if any party to the proceedings appears by an authorised agent, the designated magistrate may, if he considers it necessary, adjourn the hearing for the attendance of that party in person and may make an order requiring his attendance accordingly;

(h) if the designated magistrate holds that an objection is frivolous or vexatious, he may make such order as to costs as he thinks fit.

(2) The designated magistrate may order the forfeiture and the payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of—

(a) the sum deposited in terms of subsection (5) of section 25 if—

(i) the appellant or his duly authorised agent fails to appear on the date appointed for the hearing and fails to lodge with the clerk of the court of the designated magistrate, within 24 hours after that date, a reasonable excuse for such failure to appear; or

(ii) he has disallowed the appeal and held that the grounds of appeal were frivolous or vexatious;

(b) the sum deposited in terms of paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section 26 if—

(i) the person lodging the objection does not appear as provided in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and the person to whom the objection relates has not in writing admitted the validity of the objection; or

(ii) he has held that the grounds of objection were frivolous or vexatious; and if he makes no such order the deposit shall be returned to the depositor.

28 Statement of case for opinion of judge in chambers

(1) If, on the hearing of an objection in terms of section 25 or 26—

(a) the nature of the claim or objection is such that the designated magistrate is doubtful as to the proper decision to be given upon it, he may draw up a statement of the facts and state a question for decision and shall sign it; or

(b) a party to the proceedings so requests, the designated magistrate shall draw up a statement of the facts and state a question for decision and sign it and such statement shall be signed by the party at whose request it is made; and the designated magistrate shall transmit the statement to the registrar of the High Court to be laid before a judge in chambers.

(2) Where a case is laid before a judge in terms of subsection (1), the person lodging the objection and the person to whom the objection relates and any other party interested shall be entitled to be heard in person or represented by a legal practitioner in argument upon the question stated in the case.

(3) The judge before whom a case is laid in terms of subsection (1)—

(a) may call for further information, if he thinks fit, from the designated magistrate who transmitted it; and

(b) shall give such decision thereon as appears to him right and proper; and there shall be no appeal from the decision of the judge. (4) Where a case has been transmitted at the request of a party in terms of paragraph (b) of subsection (1), the judge may make such order as to costs as he thinks fit.

29 Posting of names of persons objected to

The name of every person whose registration is objected to shall be publicly exhibited outside the court of the designated magistrate who is to hear and determine the objection and at such other place or places as the constituency registrar may direct and shall be maintained there until the objection is so heard and determined.

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