Big 3 parties react to IEC’s audit on vote rigging claims

The governing African National Congress said it was impressed by the way the IEC handled the challenges it had faced.

FILE: A voter placing her marked ballots into the local and national ballot boxes on 8 May 2019. Picture: Eyewitness News.

PRETORIA/DURBAN - There were mixed reactions from South Africa's three biggest political parties following the Electoral Commission of South Africa's (IEC) announcement that it would be conducting an audit to establish the veracity of claims around vote rigging.

There were allegations that some people cast more than one ballot during Wednesday’s vote.

The governing African National Congress said it was impressed by the way the IEC handled the challenges it had faced.

“We would not have been satisfied if there wasn’t an audit. We would have been worried if the IEC did not offer to go through the IEC forms,” deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said.

The Democratic Alliance’s Solly Malatsi said an audit would get to the bottom of any voting discrepancies.

“It’s a positive step that they are taking, and we hope that the turnaround time is fast enough.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Dali Mpofu said they welcomed the audit but are disappointed with the IEC's handling of the situation.

“Well, I do think they could have done a better job; I am not satisfied at all because these issues are predictable.”

All parties agreed that the audit needed to happen fast so it didn’t impact the integrity of the elections.

Meanwhile, the IEC said one person has been killed in a Greytown shooting and 20 suspects have been handcuffed for alleged involvement in double voting in KwaZulu-Natal.

The electoral commission said the shooting happened on Wednesday but it could not provide any further details.

However, it said those suspected of voting more than once were reported to police by IEC officials

Deputy provincial electoral officer Mawerhu Mosery said: “Police are indicating that there may be 17 suspects in Dannhauser Municipality, two suspects in Hluhluwe and one person in Port Shepstone.”

Acting provincial electoral officer Ntombifuthi Masinga said: “We can assure everyone that no one was injured amongst the staff that were working at voting stations and SAPS members that were deployed. We are still investigating a matter that has come to our attention of the shooting incident that took place in Greytown. We are not sure what transpired there but we are aware that there was a shooting and there were injuries and a report of a death in Umvoti Municipality which we are currently investigating.”