I was denied my right to vote, says Brussels voter as she lodges complaint with IEC

Fikile Zungu says she was denied the right to vote in Germany. | @Fikz_the_Cook/X

Fikile Zungu says she was denied the right to vote in Germany. | @Fikz_the_Cook/X

Published May 22, 2024


The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has referred the complaint by a South African voter in Brussels, Belgium, who alleges that she was denied the right to vote after having registered, to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

Taking to X, Fikile Zungu, aka Fikz_the_Cook, said she was fired by the embassy more than three years ago after she had contracted Covid-19.

She said she felt victimised after a white voter, who had the same problem as her, was allowed to vote.

Zungu said she registered to vote during the country’s voter registration window in January and thought her registration had been successful.

However, when it was time to vote this past weekend, she was told she was eligible to vote in South Africa and not at the SA embassy in Brussels.

Zungu has since shared her complaint on social media and in a letter and video messages to IEC commissioner Glen Mashinini.

She said she had been turned away on Saturday, May 18, 2024 while in the company of her daughter.

“I have never felt this victimised by the embassy after being fired after falling ill due to Covid-19. Remember, I was fired at the embassy three years ago. To me that has become personal as I was fired for having corona.

“The way I was treated was because I did not vote and feel victimised by the embassy. Could they not have tried to resolve the issue like they did with that white woman who was assisted? They have taken the right to vote from me after taking my job as well,” she said.

Zungu said she had filed a complaint as that she was passionate about voting even though she was not in the country.

A day before the election, an eager Zungu took to social media and urged South Africans to come out in their numbers to vote. She asked South Africans to think like an adult when deciding on which candidate to vote for.

“I went to the embassy today, 18 May, to vote and to my shock, the embassy staff (Ms Lilly Monene, Ms Nonkanyiso Mlobeli, Mr Kajen Moodley and Ms Dante Pilman told me that I am not registered to vote in Brussels but am registered in South Africa.

“This comes as a shock to me because on 28 January, I went to the embassy to ensure that I am registered to vote in Brussels. Ms Monene and Pilman confirmed to me that I am registered to vote,” she said.

Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the IEC would be investigating the incident.

“I know she mentions the SA Embassy repeatedly here, but it is the IEC (an independent body that runs the elections). Dirco merely provided venues (embassies and consulates). The matter has been reported to the IEC. They will investigate and take appropriate action. We are sorry for the nasty experience,” said Monyela.

The Star

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