IEC contemplates taking action against ‘vote rigging’ accusers

IEC contemplates taking action against 'vote rigging' accusers
IEC contemplates taking action against 'vote rigging' accusers

Africa-Press – South-Africa. The Electoral Commission (IEC) on Sunday said it was concerned by videos circulating on social media posted by MK Party supporters alleging vote rigging in progress.

“These videos relate to activities at Chesterville and Hammersdale. We wish to clarify that the videos depict our planned logistical arrangements and storage of election materials as we prepare for the first day of special voting on May 27. These are legitimate and authorised arrangements for the distribution of ballot papers and other bulk material,” the IEC said.

“The planned security measures were that the trucks distributing ballot papers are escorted by SAPS to the local storage site,” the commission said, adding that the sites were to be placed under 24-hour guard.

“This arrangement would ensure that the storage sites are protected against unauthorised entry, burglary and tampering with election materials and ensure detailed control and recording of all items in storage.”

The IEC said individuals captured on video at an IEC storage site in Hammersdale were shown entering the warehouse without authorisation.

“The commission notes that members of MK are now at the provincial warehouse of the commission where the ballots were returned. No party will be allowed to gain entry into the warehouse premises and we instruct the leadership of MK Party to immediately leave the warehouse for the commission to urgently finalise the distribution of election material,” the IEC said.

In another incident, one of the IEC’s presiding officers was woken at home in the middle of the night to hand over bulk material stored at the Baptist Church voting station in Chesterville.

The material included voting booths, voting station signage and banners as well as unfolded ballot boxes.

“This bulk electoral material was taken to Cato Manor police station in eThekwini, in KwaZulu-Natal. It is part of the logistical plan for the commission to deliver bulk material to voting stations ahead of election day,” the IEC said. This was to ensure that voting stations open on time on Wednesday, when only security material such as ballot papers would be delivered on the day of voting.

The IEC condemned the effort to threaten its staff and said no party supporters or representatives were authorised to access the private homes of electoral staff nor were they entitled to take possession of election material.

“We want to assure the public that additional measures have been implemented to secure these various storage sites across the country. We confirm that the commission has possession of all election materials shown in these videos. It is now being prepared for distribution to voting stations in time for the special votes tomorrow,” the IEC said.

The commission is also considering taking action against the individuals and party concerned in the incident as their conduct violates the electoral code of conduct and other prescripts.

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