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Accounting body raises concerns about counting process at some voting stations

Saica deployed 350 of its members to 1,300 voting stations on Wednesday to observe both the counting and voting processes.

An IEC electoral officer counts ballot papers at the Addington Primary School after voting ended in the sixth national general elections in Durban on 8 May 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) said it had concerns about the integrity of the counting process at some voting stations across the country.

Saica deployed 350 of its members to 1,300 voting stations on Wednesday to observe both the counting and voting processes.

In a preliminary report the accounting body said its members observed forms running out at some voting stations. However, it said the voting process didn't seem to be significantly affected by this.

Saica said the counting processes were lengthy and demanding and in its final report the institute would have to raise some concerns.

Saica released a report saying, as a whole, its preliminary conclusion was that the elections were generally free and fair, but it has raised concerns around some processes.

The final report will be released in a week.

Observer group the Association for Free Research and International Cooperation said on Thursday the elections administered by the electoral commission were highly professional.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has been served with a lawyers’ letter by 27 disgruntled political parties that want the commission to appoint an independent audit firm to conduct the investigation into allegations of multiple voting among other irregularities.

The political parties say they will approach the Electoral Court should the IEC not agree to an independent audit and refrain from declaring the election results.

Additional reporting by Theto Mahlakoana