All 22 people who have been arrested in connection with allegedly attempting to vote more than once in Wednesday’s national and political elections were arrested before they were able to contaminate the polls by casting their votes for the second time.
This was according to Deputy National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola, who addressed the media and political party agents gathered at the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s results operations centre in Tshwane on Friday evening.
Masemola said 17 of the 22 arrested had voted in one polling station in KwaZulu-Natal and later attempted to cast their vote at another voting station.
“The station officer checked whether the individuals had voted and after realising that they were attempting to cast their votes for a second time alerted the police who arrested four on the scene and the others were rounded up the next day,” said Masemola.
He added that a woman arrested in Mpumalanga was caught “when a journalist raised concerns that she had voted more that twice”.
Masemola added that all the perpetrators were apprehended before they were able to cast their votes more than twice.
The deputy national police commissioner said that there were people on social media who had claimed that they had voted twice and the police were still investigating.
IEC vice-chairperson Janet Love informed those gathered at the results centre that a sample of 1020 voting stations had been handed over to the statistician-general to audit them following smaller political parties having expressed concerns over allegations of irregularities during the voting processes.
She said the statistician-general had not reached any conclusions but was in the process of auditing those ballots.
IEC chief operations officer Sy Mamabolo also took the opportunity to update the nation on the fact that counting had been completed in Mpumalanga, the North West, Northern Cape and the Western Cape.
He said there were 433 voting districts in Gauteng that were yet to be concluded, and 779 voting districts overall.
Mamabolo remained optimistic that all 779 voting stations would be concluded by tomorrow.