‘It’s personal’: Celeb chef ‘denied right to vote’ in Belgium [video]

Celebrity chef Fikile Zungu, also known as Fikz, has spoken out about being “denied” her right to vote abroad in Belgium, where she is based.

The popular professional – who has her own YouTube channel and cookbook and counts J Zinhle as a celebrity client – has shared her inspiring journey from maid to master chef!

South Africans living abroad were granted the opportunity to cast their early votes ahead of the general elections on Wednesday, May 29.

CELEB CHEF FIKZ SAYS EMBASSY ‘SABOTAGED’ HER VOTE

In a video message posted on X, Fikile “Fikz” Zungu revealed she had registered to vote abroad.

The chef is employed at South Africa’s Embassy in Belgium, where she has worked for the last 14 years. According to Fiks, her employers had informed her that everything was above board ahead of the elections.

However, Fikz was later told that she was not on the list of registered voters at the Belgian Embassy.

“You told me I was registered…why am I not on the list?”

I was denied my right to vote at the Embassy of South Africa in Belgium @IECSouthAfrica @PublicProtector @DIRCO_ZA @tokoxasa @PresidencyZA pic.twitter.com/sf3tjcQNQJ

— #fikz (@Fikz_the_Cook) May 21, 2024

Fikz shared a screenshot of an official complaint she had filed with IEC Commissioner Glen Mashinini.

Part of it read: “I find the Embassy’s actions as gross injustice. [It is also] personal because the Embassy fired me three and a half years ago. Therefore, I feel that I am being sabotaged personally. The Embassy has never made any effort to find out what the problem was

She added: “I sit here in tears, wondering what I have done to my country as a black person to be treated this way?

“Why am I being punished…[by taking] away my democratic right?”

pic.twitter.com/aSCZJo0vqy

— #fikz (@Fikz_the_Cook) May 21, 2024

IEC RESPONDS

In response to Fikz’s tweet, the official account of the IEC South Africa questioned the chef if she had applied for a VEC10 notice, which is required when voting out of the country.

To which Fikz responded: “No one told me about this…I don’t even know what it is”

According to the Daily Maverick, close to 80 000 South Africans abroad cast their vote at 111 foreign missions worldwide.

“We care about [people at home]. And we love to visit home and find a beautiful place to return to,” one voter told the publication of their decision to vote.

South Africans living around the world cast their special votes last weekend.
Images via X:
@claysonmonyela

The IEC  has stated that it is the constitutional right of every South African living abroad – over the age of 18 – to vote in the national elections.

“Because each and every citizen has the right to vote in South Africa’s elections and the responsibility to participate in making decisions for its future.

“It’s your democracy, own it!” reads a statement on its website.