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Inmates encouraged to vote

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The ID's will be returned to family members and pointed out further that it was the constitutional right of inmates to be afforded an opportunity to vote

File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

WITH the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) voter registration drive in full swing, the families of inmates at different facilities have been urged not to let their incarcerated loved ones miss out on the opportunity to make their cross.

About 160 000 inmates in the 240 prisons around the country will get an opportunity to register for the upcoming national elections from January 22 and 23, 2019. The acting area commissioner of Correctional Services in the Northern Cape and Free State, Mosetlhane Phanyane, said yesterday that family members could make the necessary arrangements with officials at provincial facilities to provide the necessary documentation for registration.

“If a family member wants to deliver the identity documents of inmates to the facility, they can speak to the head of the facility to ensure the inmate receives the document,” said Phanyane.

The chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, has appealed to family members in possession of offenders’ identity documents to make arrangements to deliver these to correctional facilities by Monday (January 21).

“Most offenders do not keep their ID documents with them and these are often kept at home by family members. Everyone, including inmates, needs to produce an ID or temporary ID certificate to be registered as a voter. The lack of an ID has in the past curbed inmates from registering,” Mamabolo said.

Correctional Services said the IDs will be returned to family members and pointed out further that it was the constitutional right of inmates to be afforded an opportunity to vote.

– Benida Phillips