eThekwini election poster theft: Thieves may face 10 years in jail

Issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard – DA Central Durban Constituency Head
07 May 2024 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance finds unacceptable and somewhat infuriating that after painting an eThekwini Ward blue with DA posters, culprits have apparently either removed or stolen them. This illegal act has become endemic in the run-up to the election on the 29th of May.

In the most recent and recorded incident a resident had taken clear photographs of a man taking down DA posters, putting them in his boot and driving off. This worrying act of theft and sabotage prompted DA Ward 33 Councillor, Sakhile Mngadi, to urgently open a case at the Umbilo Police station where a CAS number was issued and photographs handed in as evidence.

The removal, theft or deliberate damage to election posters is a serious crime and an act deemed “illegal” by legislation governing the IEC and elections in general. Such an act carries a punishment of either a hefty fine or maximum sentence of 10 years.

While this may sound harsh, it should be remembered that this amounts to a direct attack on our democracy. The DA has spent years preparing for this election, and the poster campaign, while just one part of the overall campaign, is hugely time consuming and expensive to run efficiently.

Our country has a long history of holding free, fair and credible elections. This is a democratic ideal which must not be compromised by any form of illegal acts, threats or violence leading up to, during or on election day.

We will be asking the SAPS for a daily update on this case and following developments closely to ensure that rule of law is upheld.