A voter shows her marked thumb ~ (Werner Beukes)
East London - Although voting progressed smoothly throughout Wednesday in the Eastern Cape, political parties reported a few incidents of irregularities.
The Congress of the People and Democratic Alliance complained to the IEC about irregularities in the casting of the special votes.
Both parties claimed that some voters who were not eligible to special votes had been allowed to vote. The matter would be investigated by the IEC after a report was compiled by the complainants.
Cope complained of African National Congress volunteers who were reportedly telling people at some voting stations, particularly the elderly and illiterate, to vote for the party.
"That's a disturbing trend because people should decide on their own who they would vote for. That this happens at the gates of polling stations make it worse because those people will obviously be intimidated by these tactics," said Cope provincial spokesperson Nkosifikile Gqomo.
Ballot papers found in ANC member?s car
He said Cope was alerted about boxes of ballot papers that were found in a car owned by an ANC member near Queenstown on Wednesday afternoon.
"It is difficult to understand why boxes of ballot papers would be in possession of a member of a political party. This should be a serious matter of concern," he said.
Gqomo said that at a voting station in Libode, an ANC local leader approached the Mhlolo voting station's deputy presiding officer.
"He asked if he had already done 'that thing', to which the officer said he could only manage to do 17. Party agents, including those representing Cope, overheard the conversation and asked what it was all about but did not get any response. We smell a rat there," said Gqomo.
Mzwanele Nyhontso of the Pan Africanist Congress also reported that ANC agents were allegedly issuing party pamphlets right at a Ngcobo polling station's door.
"That amounts to campaigning and that is not allowed in the vicinity of a polling station," he said.
Voting very slow in PE
The DA's Athol Trollip said it had reported two incidents where voters were given ballot papers that were already marked. He said he reported the matter to the IEC.
"In Port Elizabeth, voting is very slow and it is clear that there won't be enough time for everyone to vote. Some people were so tired of waiting in the long queues and opted to leave without casting their votes. It is a sad situation," Trollip said.
The IEC in the province said the commission had to make arrangement to get voting material to those voting stations with huge voter turn-outs.
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