IEC promises transparency

2011-05-11 15:48

Pretoria - The IEC on Wednesday promised transparency in the counting of votes in the May 18 local government elections.

"Our success is a success for the continent, inasmuch as failure will be seen as such," Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chair Brigalia Bam said at the launch of the national results operations centre in Pretoria.

She said the democratic process was taking its course in Africa, as many countries tried to go to the polls to vote in new governments.

Bam commended South Africans' political tolerance and the increase in the number of political parties and independent candidates contesting this year's election.

It was a sign the country's democracy was maturing. She hoped the elections would be conducted in a democratic and peaceful atmosphere.

"From our side, we commit to do our utmost best... to ensure that transparency, accountability, professionalism and independence characterise the running of these elections."


Chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula warned that unless elections were conducted fairly, and were perceived to be impartial and fair, they could lead to conflict. This would negate their primary objective of providing legitimacy to an elected government.

Tlakula said the centre would be the hub for operations on election day.

"One reason for having this is the credibility and transparency it brings to the results process," she said.

An electronic board which would display the votes received by parties contesting the elections had been set up at the centre.

Thanks to technology, information would be made available rapidly to political parties, IEC officials and media at the venue, as well as to all nine provincial results operations centres.

Other data such as analyses, running scores and percentages would be displayed on two large screens at the centres.

The IEC said it would deal impartially with electoral complaints, should there be any. Some 82 percent of South Africans are currently on the voters' roll.

  • Matt - 2011-05-11 15:51

    Oh please. Like in rural areas where some can't read or write, and they tell those voters to just put a cross next to ANC and be on their way

      Matt - 2011-05-11 16:15

      Don't know where the "thumbs down" are coming from, this really happened!

      WhiteAfrican - 2011-05-11 16:23

      The thumbs down come from people who don't want to admit the truth. Thats just one of the ways they cheated. What ever happened to all of those marked ballot papers they found last time BEFORE the voting had even started.

      Matt - 2011-05-11 16:42

      Scary thing is that they DO know overseas, they just don't care. BBC was reporting in 2004, Mandela was spouting racist stuff, they had reporters in Durban when they were dragging in everyone off the streets to vote ANC... and nobody cares.

      WhiteAfrican - 2011-05-11 16:59

      Maybe if we had oil someone would care.

      Eric West - 2011-05-11 19:38

      The were not that transparent back in 1994 when the ANC stuffed ballot boxes with ONE MILLION votes and got away with it! Ask F*ckWit De Klerk. He knew all about it, but didn't want to make waves, at the time! :(

  • Moi1980 - 2011-05-11 15:58

    Yeah....I won't be putting money on it.

      Matt - 2011-05-11 16:04

      What, like in Durban in 2004 where they were dragging anyone they could find off the streets to vote ANC...

  • Smindlo - 2011-05-11 15:59

    blah blah blah...transparency and ANC? thats like comparing shiit to food.

      Matt - 2011-05-11 16:05

      Don't insult shiit, the ANC are way lower than that

  • SeanJ - 2011-05-11 16:07

    well then tell us why there are 6 times more ballot papers than registered voters? thats what i would like to know.

      Matt - 2011-05-11 16:14

      Because apparently there aren't enough ANC voters in SA.

      Smindlo - 2011-05-11 16:16

      good question, only shlep is you will never get an honest answer from this ANC deployee

      WhiteAfrican - 2011-05-11 16:25

      I asked that same question. Wonder if the ANC or the IEC would be able to answer us?

  • Ghost - 2011-05-11 16:09

    Ja Ja, whatever, and my B@lls are bolted to my forehead. Pigs can fly, santa is on drugs, the cow did jump over the moon and Harry Potter is a alcoholic

      Johan - 2011-05-11 18:58

      No!! No!! No!!....Harry Potter!!!...what are you telling me

  • chezzy - 2011-05-11 16:09

    How many boxes have you already counted in favor of the ANC?

      Matt - 2011-05-11 16:14

      This must be where JZ is creating jobs - 200,000 people just to fill in ballot papers with "ANC"

  • Dave - 2011-05-11 16:15

    I was thinking about this last night, how transparent do you really think the whole election is? You think it's a bit like a Zimbabwe election? as for as the counting goes?

      Matt - 2011-05-11 16:43

      I once saw a TV ad... they show a car crashing into another car, and then it said.. vote ZANU-PF and live

      gizzy - 2011-05-11 17:46

      And didn't SA delcare Zimbabwe elections free and fair? The rest of the world said it was a fraud! Makes you think doesn't it?

  • Deon - 2011-05-11 16:15

    What a joke !!!!!

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-05-11 16:17

    I bet, then I wonder if they will verify the address of the 10 000 'students' who apparently put the Edward Hotel on their registration as their hostel address...

  • Ray - 2011-05-11 16:29

    Her quiet and dignified commitment to the fight against apartheid stood as an example to all South Africans.( She sees signs that our country's democracy is maturing? She must be clairvoyant and see things no one else could ever see! The democratic process is taking its course in S.A.? In which direction, Brigalia? Seems like a pretty backwards course to me...and the only transparent thing I see, is the ability our current government has to manipulate any situation to its own benefit. The electronic tally board should have a voice function too for all our illiterate "country men". It probably would repeatedly say:"Wrong Box" corrected to ANC vote!

  • Rob - 2011-05-11 16:36

    I wonder if Elexions has anything to do with this? ( A voting procedure management business supposodely owned by Mo Shaik and the late Cyril Beeka)

  • Bill - 2011-05-11 16:47

    There is nothing transparent with anything the ANC touches...including and more so elections…!! They are going to rig voting in the W Cape, you bet your bottom dollar on that!

      gizzy - 2011-05-11 17:50

      The polling stations will once again be kept open until 12pm for Khayelitsha and home affairs will once again be given tables to hand out I.D. books right under the noses of the not so IEC!

  • Goodson - 2011-05-11 16:49

    Why must the IEC promise trasparency? Is this not already implied? The INDEPENDANT Electoral Commission's mandate surely is to hold free, fair and transparent elections?

      gizzy - 2011-05-11 17:48

      Exactly my sentiment! Why would they feel obliged to make such a statement?

  • maseratifitt - 2011-05-11 18:26

    If all votes are counted at the polling station in the presence of representatives of contestants, all agreeing on the final figure, and this result is immediately published in the media, I would have a bit more faith. What confidence can we have in the IEC, when leading officials are appointed by the chief promotor of one particular party? What credibility can there be to a ball game when all the match officials are chosen and appointed by one of the competing teams? If every ballot paper had a unique (serial) number, covered like a scratch card, one can afterwards check electronically off a database if one's vote is in fact registered as intended. There are many ways to build checks and controls into the system. Why does the IEC not spell out what safeguards the individual? What reconciliation figures are published? I don't think promises of transparency are enough.

      Jack - 2011-05-11 21:34

      Lol sounds like this guy !

  • Freddie - 2011-05-11 21:47

    Why is it a newsworthy event when a government employee simply says that they are going to do their job? The only reason I can think, of is that self same employee has a guilty conscience and is aware of the fact that there is skepticism out there.

  • Jakkals911 - 2011-05-12 03:12

    If the IEC is REALLY serious about transparency, they should provide ballot boxes make out of a transparent type of material like perpex so that when the first voters enter the voting hall, they can see that the boxes are empty and not previously stuffed with ballot papers to favour the ruling party has has been the case in the past. It has come to light (and I seem to remember FW admitting to this) that during the first so-called "free and fair 'democratic' elections in 1994, this little exercise worked extremely well to put the ANC into power, and I can believe it happens time and time again. These perspex boxes can be stored and used over and over again for each future election, giving more credibility to the "free and fair" aspect. At the same time, get rid of ballot papers and install a small keypad in each voting booth, and let people vote for their candidate according to the picture attaches to the various keys, and ensure that the main computer to which the results are linked can under NO circumstances be fiddled with to alter results. This would also cut out the schlep of having to sort out ballot papers and long hours of counting, whereas results wold be available immediately, having been recorded automatically on the central system...

  • pages:
  • 1