AfriForum announces problems regarding IEC voting process
AfriForum has already identified a large number of problems regarding the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) municipal election process with the help of observers that were appointed by the civil rights organisation to act as watchdog at more than 150 voting stations. The organisation also developed an app, AfriForum-verkiesingswaghond, where observers, as well as voters, could provide feedback regarding voting and also report irregularities.
According to Marcus Pawson, AfriForum’s Head of Local Government Affairs, these problems could influence the voting outcome should it not immediately be addressed by the IEC.
Problems that were reported to AfriForum during the course of the day, includes the following:
- Ballot boxes are not being shown to observers before they are sealed for use.
- Various political parties are active within the closed-off IEC voting stations.
- A voter who was supposed to vote in Boksburg, Gauteng was turned away because he is allegedly registered in the Western Cape, although he did not register in that province.
- Women with nail polish, acrylic or gel on their nails were prevented from voting before they have cleaned the nail.
- Short disturbances, due to violent actions and intimidation by party agents connected to the ANC and EFF, has been reported at some voting points.
- Gauteng is experiencing a shortage of voting supplies such as voting ballots, voters’ rolls and scanners.
- The IEC is handing out unstamped ballots, with the result that these ballots will be invalid.
“As civil rights watchdog AfriForum has a responsibility towards its members and the public to reveal all problems that are reported to the organisation. The voting process must take place in a fair, free and transparent manner. In addition, citizens may not be deprived of their constitutional right to vote due to invalid reasons,” said Pawson.
Pawson adds that the organisation received a great deal of information from the public on the app. They are planning to compile and release a report of all problems and irregularities that can be verified.
AfriForum urges South Africans to download the app and bring further problems to the attention of the organisation, and ultimately to the attention of the public.
Statement issued by Marcus Pawson, Head: Local Government Affairs, AfriForum, 3 August 2016