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Over 200 000 spoilt ballots

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IOL South Africa Elections~3

AP

FILE PHOTO: Election workers hand over ballot papers to elderly and disabled South African voters to cast their ballots during early voting. Picture: Ben Curtis

Johannesburg - More than 234 000 ballots were spoilt in the 2014 general elections, according to preliminary figures by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) on Friday.

The highest number of spoilt votes came from KwaZulu-Natal with 47 533, followed by Gauteng with 34 202, and the Eastern Cape at 31 744.

Spoilt votes in Mpumalanga stood at 19 333, North West 18 411, and Limpopo close behind with 18 345.

The results showed that so far there were 17 860 spoilt votes in the Western Cape, and 12 884 in the Free State.

The province with the least number of spoilt votes was the Northern Cape with 6106.

The figures were rising as vote counting continued on Friday.

In the 2009 general election, spoilt votes totalled 239 237 according to country's election resources website.

In the run-up to this year's elections, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge led a campaign supporting spoilt votes.

They launched the “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote No” campaign in April and called on South Africans to either vote for a minority party, or spoil their ballots.

The campaign was aimed at convincing struggle activists and others not to vote for the African National Congress.

They said this tactical move would help deepen democracy through diminishing the ANC's majority.

The two had previously said they were against corruption and the lavish lifestyles of ANC members.

Before the election, Kasrils said ordinary people were suffering because taxpayers' money was being spent on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private home in KwaZulu-Natal and travel arrangements for the wealthy Gupta family, who reportedly had close ties with Zuma.

However, the City Press on Thursday reported that Kasrils did not spoil his vote.

“I voted for two parties, nationally and provincially, but not the ANC or the DA,” he was quoted as saying.

“… I want to see some smaller parties entering the provincial or the national [government] and speaking up against corruption, for better government, for service to the people and for accountability.”

Kasrils believed that supporting two smaller parties would provide the change he wanted to see in the country.

Sapa


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