The Elections Commission of South Africa (IEC) will urgently investigate allegations of double voting that have been reported to the commission subsequent to Wednesday’s elections.
Through its chief executive Sy Mamabolo, the commission also announced that there had been four arrests made with regard to the alleged double voting in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mamabolo was addressing a media briefing held by the commission’s results operations centre in Tshwane on Thursday afternoon.
The packed press briefing was scheduled as a way of giving feedback on the vote status of the counting process currently under way subsequent to Wednesday’s sixth democratic elections.
“The IEC will urgently conduct an audit of results and votes cast in a sample of voting stations to ascertain if double voting occurred.
“The audit will cover a statistically representative sample of voting stations as well as all voting stations where complaints or allegations of double voting have been received. The final number and selection of the sample will be determined in conjunction with expert statisticians,” said Mamabolo.
He added that even with these allegations and the commission’s obligation to verify “the IEC was still on track, as per the dictates of the law, to release the results within the stipulated seven days”.
Mamabolo also confirmed that four individuals had already been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal over their alleged attempt to vote twice in the same election.
“The electoral commission is encouraged by the rapid arrest of four voters in KwaZulu-Natal in connection with alleged double voting. As noted yesterday, any attempted to vote more than once leaves a clear footprint in the electoral process and suspects were tracked down using this information,” said Mamabolo.
The IEC also informed the media during the packed briefing at the IEC’s results operations centre in Tshwane that it had also commissioned an investigation into the effectiveness of the indelible ink used during the elections.
“The electoral commission has also ordered an investigation into the effectiveness of the indelible ink marker pens supplied for the elections. The investigation will be done in conjunction with the CSIR and with the full cooperation and support of the supplier.”
He added that about 200 000 pens were procured through the open tender process according to specifications set by the electoral commission from a South African company.
IEC commissioner Mosotho Moepya also took the opportunity to allay fears that the commission was biased towards the commission following complaints laid yesterday over the fact that IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini had “displayed a level of bias when he accompanied president Cyril Ramaphosa”.
“If you look at past elections, IEC officials have accompanied presidents before and there for there was noting untoward with the chairperson’s conduct.”