‘IEC stopped me voting’

Cape Town -

A Cape businessman has vowed to take on the IEC for preventing him from voting on Wednesday, after a physical run-in with officials for parking in the wrong parking bay.

Paarl businessman Colin Roux. Credit: SUPPLIED

Colin Roux, a Paarl businessman and former senior executive with BOE, arrived at Countrai Primary School shortly before the polls closed.

He was directed to park in front of the school, but as he left his car he was accosted by the presiding officer.

Roux alleges the IEC officer was “hyper-aggressive”, shouting and wrenching his car door open, declaring: “I’m in charge here!”

When Roux walked past him, “he hit me in the throat”.

Roux said he was determined not to be bullied. He had his ID scanned and stamped, and his thumb marked, but was then wrestled away from the voting booths by police the presiding officer had summoned, and his ballot papers “snatched” away.

Roux alleges the presiding officer said: “You will not vote at my voting station.” He tried to take photos of his assailants, but was told he could be charged under the Electoral Act.

He was then called “a white f***r” by a female police officer, but was rescued by a senior police officer. He was escorted to Paarl town hall to vote, but he was not allowed to vote there either, because his thumb had already been marked and his ID book stamped.

Police spokesman Andre Traut said an assault charge had later been laid against Roux by “a 42-year-old man” – apparently the presiding officer.

Roux told the Cape Argus on Sunday that he planned to lay charges.

The IEC could not be reached for comment on Sunday night, but a senior provincial IEC official, Derrick Marco, sent Roux an e-mail, which read: “Dear Mr Roux, the behaviour, whatever the provocation, I still believe is unacceptable, especially on the part of the IEC official and for this I apologise.

“I also wish to apologise for any other inconvenience caused. As soon as I receive your report I will escalate it to our national office but must add that your decision to make a criminal case was the correct step to take.”