The journalist in me applauded Etienne Mare, editor of online digital news agency Suburb.News in the Lowveld, for his impulse to try to vote more than once on May 8.  For his trouble, Mare faces charges under the electoral law, but he did succeed in testing a reader’s claim, and publishing the results (showing how easy it was to rub off the ink on his thumb and, indeed, vote again), which is what journalism is for. However, beyond qualms about the Electoral Commission of SA’s stationery supplies, there is something oddly ironic in the revelation of the apparent ease of voting umpteen times when the greater problem SA faces is getting people to vote at all. This has earned a lot of attention since the election. One of the more florid contributions came from the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel), urging a “return to the foundational principles of the constitution and the promises of the national democratic revolution (NDR)”, a contradiction in terms if ever there was ...

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