'Ballot box' found at house turns out to be full of toilet rolls

2019-05-08 19:50
IEC voting station.
IEC voting station. (Elmarie Jack, News24)

In what turned out to be a false alarm, amidst other reports of problems with ballot boxes in the country, police and the military were called in to inspect a house where the occupants were allegedly keeping a ballot box, The Citizen reported. But it later reportedly emerged that the box was actually just a utility box that was used to store toilet rolls.

Tempers reportedly flared between the ANC and the DA over the issue, with the ANC calling in the police to investigate the allegation.

According to The Citizen, the DA accused the ANC of manufacturing outrage to spread lies about the DA, as DA members had been seen at the house.

The owner of the house was reportedly furious. The incident apparently took place after he invited the man into his house so that he could use the bathroom.

"I even charged his phone for him. When he left he went to tell the people it's a ballot box," the man reportedly said.

While the incident turned out to be a false alarm, there have been several reports of concerns about the handling of ballot boxes.

Two electoral officers were dismissed by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), according to The South African. They were reportedly accused of incorrectly handling ballot boxes that had special votes in them. The IEC reportedly said its officers had received extensive training on how to handle the boxes.

The IEC also launched an investigation into an incident where ballot boxes were found lying on the side of the road in Limpopo, TimesLive reported. This followed a video of the boxes that did the rounds on social media.

The IEC reportedly said that this was an isolated incident, adding that the boxes were unused or unopened, and that they would have been replaced at the voting stations.

On Tuesday night, the IEC’s Sy Mamabolo said the incident was "highly regrettable", News24 reported.

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