IEC removes deputy presiding officer from Benoni voting station following viral video

A deputy presiding officer at a voting station in Benoni, Johannesburg, has been removed following an investigation into the transfer of special votes.

This after a video showing a party agent assisting with the transfer of the special votes went viral on Monday.

The video shows a party agent helping to transfer special votes, in their double envelopes from a ballot bag used during home visits, to a ballot box in the voting station.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said, while the transfer of the special votes from bags to ballot boxes was a normal procedure, handling of the electoral material by any party agent was prohibited.

READ: Ballot boxes found in Limpopo, IEC investigating - Mashinini

"They [party agents] are only allowed to observe operations and raise objections. The Deputy Presiding Officer who was overseeing the process has therefore been removed," the IEC said in a statement on Tuesday.

The IEC said that, despite the breach, it was confident that the integrity of the election had not been undermined, as special votes had a very strict verification process prior to the counting of ballots through the double envelope system.

It explained that all special votes were first placed in an unmarked envelope, which was then inserted into a second envelope, which was marked with the voting station and voter’s particulars for verification.

The envelope was then placed in the ballot box or bag, if it was a home visit.

Before special votes are included in the count they are subjected to thorough verification against lists of authorised special voters. 

"This is witnessed by party agents and observers. Only when the special vote is confirmed against the authorised list, is the outer envelope removed and the inner envelope is added to normal ballots for counting," it added. 

The IEC said it was also investigating instances where the double envelope system had not been used in some special votes on Monday, as well as some ballot papers which may not have been stamped at the back.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.

elections 2019

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Are you going to keep wearing a mask following the announcement that it is no longer required under law?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No ways, I'm done
5% - 5708 votes
Yes, I still want to be cautious
91% - 107275 votes
Only certain circumstances
4% - 5102 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.38
-0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.84
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.12
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.19
+0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-1.1%
Gold
1,802.48
-0.3%
Silver
20.09
-0.9%
Palladium
1,930.50
-0.5%
Platinum
897.50
-0.0%
Brent Crude
109.03
-3.1%
Top 40
60,109
0.0%
All Share
66,223
0.0%
Resource 10
63,748
0.0%
Industrial 25
79,405
0.0%
Financial 15
14,686
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE