Zimbabweans cannot vote in upcoming SA elections – says Minister

Zimbabweans cannot vote in upcoming SA elections – says Minister

By The Citizen

SOUTH AFRICA: Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says no Zimbabwean citizen is allowed to vote in their home country and in South Africa as the country heads to the polls this year.

Appearing before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs met on Tuesday, Motsoaledi commented on the video making rounds on social media.

“We saw the clip because [a lot] of people sent it to us because they were worried,” he told MPs.

In the clip, a unknown man claimed that he votes both in Zimbabwe and South Africa, according to the minister.

“Fortunately in the clip, [the person] is actually showing an ID. Some of the number were redacted on that ID, but the little I have seen told me what is going on,” he said.

Motsoaledi pointed out that the unidentified man held a permanent residence ID. He sought to explain the different IDs issued by the Department of Home Affairs.

“You will remember that there are three types of IDs that are issued in South Africa. The first one is for South Africans and we will see it by the first six numbers as the date of birth.

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“[The next four digits] denotes gender, which will be demonstrated by zero up to four for females and for males being five to nine. Then the last three numbers denote nationality. They end 08 something from one up to nine. Those are South African IDs that entitle you to vote.

“The second type of an ID is for permanent residents meaning the person was given permanent resident status but is still a citizen of another country and the ID we gave them is exactly like the South African ID except that at the end the last three numbers denoting nationality will end with a 18 something or 19 something. That one does not entitle anyone to vote,” Motsoaledi continued.

The minister added: “There’s no way that any other person will vote when they are not entitled. Voting in Zimbabwe means he is a citizen of Zimbabwe and there’s no way he can vote in South Africa.”

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that the 2024 general elections will be held on 29 May.

The president also officially proclaimed the election date on Friday.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has since given a greenlight for this year’s national and provincial elections, which will coincide with South Africa’s 30th anniversary of democracy.

Parliament’s term will come to a close on 21 May, a few days before voting day.

This means the elections will be held after the expiry of term of the sixth administration.

Despite the expiry, the voting day will be within the 90 day timeframe mandated by the Constitution for South Africa to conduct elections after the end of the term of the current Parliament.