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IEC denies Grabouw electoral fraud

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IOL pic may7 election prep

REUTERS

Election officials work in a classroom that has been transformed into a voting station on the eve of the general election in Embo. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Cape Town - A spokesperson for the Theewaterskloof municipal electoral office of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) in Caledon, Western Cape, has denied allegations of electoral fraud in Grabouw.

The Municipal Electoral Officer Stiffie Cronjé said two empty registered ballot boxes found in a house in the township of Rooidakke were not security items.

He made the statement after a case of election fraud was opened with the local police at the weekend by the Democratic Alliance's election co-ordinator in the area Lincoln de Bruyn.

He was informed anonymously on Saturday afternoon of the two boxes in the house in Rooidakke, which were marked with the voting district number 97950011.

Four policemen accompanied him to fetch the ballot boxes. Grabouw is one of seven towns in the DA-controlled Theewaterskloof Municipality in the Western Cape and a sub-region of the Overberg district municipality.

Cronjé explained that after vote counting at a voting station had been finalised, the official results slip was signed by all political party agents, as well as the presiding officer of the municipal electoral office involved.

At the Grabouw voting station being investigated by police - known as The White House in Ward 8 of the Theewaterskloof - the counted ballot papers and all security materials were delivered to the IEC office in Caledon.

A reconciliation was done that indicated that all the votes of the two ballot boxes, marked with the voting district number 97950011, were counted and the results delivered.

Cronjé added that it was common practice that all unused, used or surplus IEC material was donated to schools or individuals, which explained the presence of the two ballot boxes in the house in Rooidakke.

According to the official count, the DA's national vote in Ward 8 decreased from 383 votes in 2009 to 180 in 2014, and the provincial vote from 391 to 174.

Similarly, the African National Congress's national vote fell from 1339 votes in 2009 to 1289 in 2014 and the provincial vote from 1254 in 2009 to 1090 in 2014.

The provincial DA majority in the Theewaterskloof has decreased from 51 percent to 49 percent.

De Bruyn said the case was still being investigated by the police and that he could not comment further until their findings were revealed.

Sapa


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