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W Cape elections not free, fair - EFF

2014-05-08 06:00

Cape Town - The Economic Freedom Fighters claimed elections in the Western Cape were not free and fair, an allegation strongly denied by the IEC late on Wednesday night.

"We have serious misgivings as a result of the high level of irregularities experienced by our party agents," EFF Western Cape leader Nazier Paulse said when he was given the podium at the Provincial Results and Operations Centre (PROC) in Bellville South.

"In order to gain the confidence of voters, the IEC should be transparent about the claims lodged by political parties."

The party claimed the process was flawed, with some provincial representatives alleging people were allowed to con the system by voting more than once.

Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) provincial electoral officer Courtney Sampson said they had met the EFF to hear their concerns.

"We will look very closely at those comments," Sampson said.

While he admitted the IEC was not "perfect", he took exception to the EFF's claims.

"I do not agree that the process was not free and fair. I do agree there's room for improvement," Sampson said.

Sampson said that while glitches and hiccups were experienced, officials moved fast to resolve them.

Sampson disagreed with Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille who tweeted that the IEC in the province was "logistically chaotic".

"Helen Zille is entitled to her opinion and I'm entitled to mine," he said, which drew giggles from representatives from other parties.

Sampson reflected on the vast inequalities in the province.

The province had a long way to go before all voters could cast their ballots with decency and dignity, he said.

While the IEC had few problems in setting up spaces to vote in privileged areas, officials had to scramble to find spaces in townships to set up makeshift structures to serve as polling stations.

"These inequalities move through communities like a double-edged sword cutting through both ways," said Sampson.

Representatives of most of the 26 political parties on the provincial ballot paper were given an opportunity to air their views at the PROC.

All parties, with the exception of the EFF, thanked the IEC staff for their hard work.

"These elections are an indication that the IEC are going from strength to strength," the African National Congress's Zoe Kota said.

Despite Zille's tweet, provincial DA leader Ivan Meyer was upbeat about the elections process.

"It was a free and fair election," Meyer said.

The Congress of the People were equally impressed with the IEC and the country's safety and security agencies.

"There were challenges, in some of the voting districts, but the SA Police Service were there and they were sufficient," said Cope MP Ncumisa Mahangu.

The African Christian Democratic Party's Grant Haskin said the election was not as smooth as in previous years.

"In many instances, there have been basic mistakes made at polling stations that could have been avoided," said Haskin.

Results from smaller voting stations started trickling in after midnight, but the final results are only expected on Friday morning.

Follow the results LIVE.

- SAPA
Read more on: elections 2014

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