The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) yesterday said Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate for the John Pandeni constituency Hafeni Mafita will still be on the ballot paper despite being recalled by the party earlier this week.
ECN chief electoral and referenda officer Theo Mujoro - quoting section 83 of the Electoral Act - said the only way a duly nominated candidate can be withdrawn after nomination is when a candidate dies or become incapacitated.
“Only in the event of death or incapacitation of a candidate can we start a fresh nomination process for that particular constituency, the implication is their candidate will remain on the ballot paper,” Mujoro said briefly yesterday, adding that the commission was in the process of replying to the PDM.
PDM on Tuesday expelled Mafita with immediate effect whom they accused of showing no remorse following his controversial comments on Facebook.
Mafita’s expulsion came after he posted ‘I hate all whites… futsek the whites’ while responding to a post about suspended Bank Windhoek employee Riaan van Rooyen, who is accused of equating black students to monkeys last week, also on a social media post.
PDM secretary general, Manuel Ngaringombe told journalists that the party’s top six resolved to expel Mafita from the party with immediate effect.
He said the party leadership also resolved to withdraw Mafita as its party candidate for the John Pandeni constituency.
“I tendered my resignation yesterday. I will not be bullied by the whites. I am a child of a freedom fighter. I am going back to rejoin Swapo, the party my parents fought for,” the defiant Mafita responding to his suspension Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the ECN announced this week that it has awarded a South African-based company N$1.9 million to print ballot papers for this month’s regional council and local authority elections.
Mujoro, in a statement, announced that Uniprint, a Durban-based printing company, was selected to print the ballot papers.
Four companies were shortlisted for the bid: Solitaire Press, Schoemans Technology, and Ren-Form CC and Uniprint – both South African companies. Mujoro said Uniprint was selected because it met all technical requirements following a competitive public procurement process.
“Uniprint has printed ballot papers for more than 20 electoral management bodies in SADC countries, including Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Zanzibar, Lesotho, and recently, South Africa and Mozambique,” he said.
He added that the ECN has full confidence that the company would ensure that all ballot papers are delivered on time and to the electoral commission’s requirements and specifications.
He said all contesting political parties, associations and candidates will be offered an opportunity at own cost to inspect the printing facility in South Africa and to monitor the printing of ballot papers for the upcoming elections.
“Once the ballot papers arrive in Namibia, all parties and candidates can inspect them, or parties that have the means can go down there [to South Africa],” he said.