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IEC launches audit after claims of voter fraud

The decision was taken after the commission met with political parties contesting elections who raised concerns about the supposedly indelible ink being easy to remove.

IEC officials count ballots at the Brixton Recreational Centre voting station in Brixton, Johannesburg on 8 May 2019. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced it has established an audit to check the extent of voter fraud and said so far, four people have been arrested for casting more than one ballot.

The decision was taken after the commission met with political parties contesting elections who raised concerns about the supposedly indelible ink being easy to remove.

In some videos, voters claimed they were able to vote more than once.

On Wednesday night, IEC commissioner Mosotho Moepya told Eyewitness News that while they acknowledged it may have been possible for some voters to cheat the system and vote twice, they had several systems to protect the integrity of the voting system.

But the commission seemed to have changed its tune later on Thursday.

The IEC’s CEO Sy Mamabolo said they would institute an official investigation into this double voting.

“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.”

He said the commission would also investigate if the ink used on voters’ thumbs had been easy to wash off.

“The investigation will be done in conjunction with the CSIR and with the full cooperation and support of the supplier. Approximately 200,000 pens were procured through the normal open tender process according to specifications set by the commission.”

He added that: "The audit will involve the capture of information showing the ID numbers of voters who cast votes at each voting station from the 'zip-zip' scanners and completed VEC 4 forms."

EWN reported on Thursday morning that the IEC was seeking answers from the company that sold it the ink, saying to their knowledge, it was not supposed to be removable.

Meanwhile, the commission said the results capture and verification process continued and assured South Africa that it would only announce results for elections where it was "100% confident in the integrity and legitimacy of those results".

By law, the Electoral Commission had seven days in which to announce the results of the elections.

WATCH: Inside the KwaZulu-Natal results operation centre

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