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Officer explains how disabled got help

13 Feb 2020

A presiding officer for Mosolotshane/Moralane ward during the 2019 general elections, Ms Bagele Bagaisamang, says she does not recall marking on a ballot paper on behalf of any voter.

Ms Bagaisamang said voters, who were not able to read and write or with any other disability, were accompanied by people who assisted them when voting.

She also confirmed to the court under cross examination by the petitioner’s attorney, Mr Patrick Kgoadi that she only recalled assisting a voter with both vision and speech impairment.

“I was made aware by the polling agents that the voter has both speech and vision impairment. He then went outside and came back with a certain lady who assisted him voting. I only accompanied them to the voting booth but I was not the one who marked the ballot paper.,” she said.

She also told the court that she could not relate to anything that happened outside the voting room, since she was always inside the room. Ms Bagaisamang said the two police officers, one in charge of the queue and the other at the gate were in a position to relay as to what happened outside the polling room.

 Ms Bagaisamang also told the petitioner’s attorney that Moralane did not have electricity and therefore it was not visible to tell what was going outside after sunset since it was dark.

“I only recall a complaint that was made by Mr Mogalakwe at 8p.m relating to one, Mr Bajeleng Kaodimba who was alleged to be selling BDP cards by the gate of the polling station,” she said.

Even though the polling station was closed at 7:30p.m, Ms Bagaisamang said Ms Dithebe later came back with Mr Kaodimba and requested that he be given an opportunity to vote.

She added that she would not tell if anyone was canvassing for votes along the queues since she was placed inside the voting room.

Ms Bagaisamang also ascertained that all voters who needed to be assisted were accompanied by people who were to assist them in casting their votes.

“The only thing I did was to explain the ballot paper to the voters before they got into the polling booth, I never marked for any of the voters,” she said.

Under cross-examination by the second respondent (Mr Kesebelwang Gaorongwe) attorney, Mr Busang Manewe, Ms Bagaisamang said apart from the bad weather as a result of the strong winds, the elections were conducted under a fair and tranquil environment and as such everything went well.

She further stated that apart from the challenges of the cadac lamp, and the bad weather, there were no other occurrences that disturbed the voting process. Ms Bagaisamang said after the cadac lamp was fixed and placed in a perfect position to illuminate the voting room, voting continued without hassles.

Responding to the first respondent (IEC) attorney, Advocate Otsile Rammidi, Ms Bagaisamang said the cadac lamp was the sole source of lighting that was used in the voting room when it was dark. She added that the lamp was elevated by stacking too tables for better illumination in the voting room. ENDs





Source : BOPA

Author : Oarabile Molosi

Location : GABORONE

Event : Court case

Date : 13 Feb 2020