Man who voted 'wrong' appears in court

30 Nov 2015 21:00pm
OKAKARARA, 30 NOV (NAMPA) – A 39-year-old man who was arrested on Friday for allegedly casting the 'wrong' vote on behalf of someone else at the Okamatapati polling station, appeared in court on Monday.
The accused, Gerson Ngulungunda, appeared before acting Okakarara Magistrate Christoph Ngatjizeko for allegedly casting a vote that was not the preference of the voter whom he was helping to vote during the 2015 Regional Council and Local Authority Elections.
Ngatjizeko informed Ngulungunda of his legal right to apply for a State-funded lawyer through the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Department; engage the legal services of a private lawyer of his choice or defend himself in court.
He opted to apply for a State-funded lawyer.
Ngulungunda was then granted bail of N.dollars 4 000.
His case was postponed to 28 December 2015 for further police investigations and also to allow him to acquire a legal representative.
Public prosecutor, Pallhus Shuudeni represented the State in the matter.
The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN)’s Otjozondjupa Regional Coordinator, Faith Matladi told Nampa on enquiry Saturday that the complainant opened a case against Ngulungunda whom he had asked for assistance to cast his vote for the Swapo party. The suspect allegedly instead voted for the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo).
Ngulungunda and the complainant apparently know each other.
A police officer at Okamatapati who asked for anonymity told Nampa Ngulungunda was acting as a helper to members of the general public who needed assistance on how to cast their votes properly at the Okamatapati polling station. He was not employed by the ECN.
Ngulungunda was charged with contravening the Electoral Act, Act No 24 of 1992 Section (A) and (B). Among others, the Act prohibits compelling someone to vote or refrain from voting in any election, or to vote in favour of a particular party or candidate by way of any fraudulent devices or contrivance.
A guilty verdict carries a fine not exceeding N.dollars 20 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or both.