IEC probes Bushbuckridge vote-rigging claims

2016-08-01 12:01
IEC voting station. (Elmarie Jack, News24)

Bushbuckridge - The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) is investigating allegations that an electoral officer in Mpumalanga was attempting to rig votes in this week's elections. 

The claim was contained in a memorandum a political party, the Bushbuckridge Residents’ Association (BRA), delivered to the IEC’s offices in Thulamahashe.

IEC provincial spokesperson Sibusiso Nkosi said they were investigating and were treating the matter as urgent.

The 300 BRA members demanded that the municipal electoral officer, Henry Mhlaba, be suspended immediately.

BRA leader Delta Mokoena alleged that Bushbuckridge IEC officials, led by Mhlaba, met at the Dwarsloop civic centre recently and discussed “stealing” votes by inflating the number of special votes for government employees like police officers and nurses.

People could apply for special votes by SMSing their ID number to the IEC. Mhlaba claimed this SMS system was manipulated. He called for it to be scrapped in the next general elections as it was open to abuse.

The BRA demanded that it be allowed to escort IEC area managers to collect election material, especially ballot papers.

Mhlaba said he was happy to personally receive the memorandum and he had forwarded it to the IEC's provincial offices.

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