IEC ready for election day

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Johannesburg - Special votes may carry on later than planned on Tuesday in Durban, said the IEC.

IEC chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya said that eThekwini Metro (Durban) had more than 44 000 special votes approved but by the end of Monday only 21 000 had been completed.

“Additional staff has been deployed to expedite the processing of the remaining home visits today (Tuesday) and the commission has instructed that home visits should continue if necessary beyond 5pm scheduled to stop today,” said Moepya.

In Maruleng in Limpopo, polling stations in one ward couldn’t open for the first day of special votes on Monday because of community protests over a delayed shopping centre project.

Moepya said voting couldn’t proceed because of security threats. By Tuesday it was all back on track.

“The voting stations opened and everything went according to plan,” said IEC spokeswoman Kate Bapela.

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The IEC has replaced an electoral official in KwaThema, Springs, who stored voting materials - including two special votes which had been cast - in a party official’s home, after another party official tweeted about it.

“Yesterday (Monday) we mentioned the challenge of cellphones and social media with regard to breaching secrecy,” said Moepya.

“But this was a case in which a cellphone camera and an alert party agent and the power of social media helped us to enhance the credibility of this election and we remain grateful. Using social media, South Africa’s 25.39 million voters, almost all armed with cellphones, are proving to be another powerful group of observers to this and future elections.”

The IEC said everything was ready for Wednesday's voting and urged voters to turn out to vote and to respect each others’ rights to do so.

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