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A poster belonging to the ActionSA political party, purportedly cut by unidentified young individuals at Thulamela Municipality. Photo: Cedric Khorhombi.

Poster 'criminals' cause major damage and can derail elections

 

With the national elections just around the corner, political parties are intensifying their campaigns to try and lure voters. Many of them rely on their colourful posters to get their message across. Unfortunately, criminals are destroying some posters, seemingly oblivious to the damage they cause and the penalties that can be imposed.

In South Africa, damaging election posters is considered a violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct. The penalties for such actions can vary, depending on the severity of the offense and the discretion of law enforcement and the courts. Typically, individuals found guilty of damaging election posters can face fines or imprisonment. These penalties aim to deter tampering with the electoral process and uphold the integrity of democratic elections.

In the Vhembe District, several incidents were reported where people either removed or damaged election posters. One political party that seems to be targeted is the Action SA party. The party’s posters were damaged in the Louis Trichardt CBD as well as in Thohoyandou.

Mr Collence Nwandzule, the party’s provincial head of mobilisation, said last week that their president, Herman Mashaba, had visited the area and they had marketed the event by putting up many posters. The posters were placed throughout Sibasa, but most of them were removed.

Nwandzule said that they believed old political parties had hired young people to remove the posters as they felt intimidated, having not delivered services to the people for too long. “In a short space of time, I received a call from one of our supporters informing me that the posters were removed, with some destroyed. He said that he saw youths at the Khoroni intersection removing the posters. We also face challenges as some posters were removed during the night, making it hard to identify the culprits,” he said.

Nwandzule added that such actions caused a lot of damage as the posters were expensive. “Each poster costs more than R100,” he said. When asked what action they took, Nwandzule said it’s hard for them to identify the culprits. “We are urging our supporters to take photos of anyone who removes our posters, so that we can take action against them,” he said.

 

 

Date:04 May 2024

By: Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga started as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people. Currently he works as a freelance journalist, covering stories in the Elim area.

Thembi studied at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he completed his diploma in Journalism in 2021.

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