Pansy Tlakula happy with elections as opposition complains

2014-05-08 07:18

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Voting in the 2014 elections officially ended a few minutes before 11pm last night, when the last polling station closed.

Ninety-seven people were arrested for election-related fraud and 131 cases were opened, according to a statement issued by acting government spokesperson Phumla Williams.

Independent Electoral Commission chairperson Pansy Tlakula had a little earlier expressed her satisfaction with the way voting proceeded despite a raft of early complaints by opposition parties.

Most of the complaints related to polling stations running out of ballot papers, but Tlakula blamed the high voter turnout in some areas and voters voting where they were not registered.

She told journalists at the final press conference of the day at the IEC results centre that voters were not kept waiting longer than two hours for ballot papers to arrive. The longest wait was at a school in ward 57 in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Very high volumes of voters were reported in metro areas throughout the country – including Tshwane, Johannesburg, Durban, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town,” she said.

There were also power outages in some areas in Thabazimbi in Limpopo and certain parts of Rustenburg.

But DA leader Helen Zille, who arrived at the results centre last night, tweeted that in the Western Cape “the IEC was in chaos in many places”.

She also said in Blaauwbergrand people waited more than two hours for ballot papers to arrive.

A DA staffer said in one place in the Western Cape people waited from 3pm until 8.30pm for ballot papers.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, who was also at the results centre, said this election had seen more ANC T-shirts being distributed around voting stations than in any other election.

Earlier in the day, the IEC declared it was not unlawful to distribute party T-shirts on election day, but said this should not be done near voting station boundaries.

The IFP said in a statement the IEC should institute “an urgent independent investigation” into reported shortages of ballot papers in many voting districts in KwaZulu-Natal.

Some voting stations opened late, with the last one opening at 2.50pm in Maruleng in Limpopo.

Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele, who was earlier last night spotted chatting to Holomisa at the results centre, complained that she had seen an IEC agent walking around with ballot papers in an unsealed box, but no formal complaint had been laid as yet.

The first results, from a voting station in Mount Ayliff, came in just before 11pm, less than two hours after the 9pm closing time of voting stations.

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