Parties warn IEC to be more vigilant

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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 - As former president Thabo Mbeki and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane cast their votes today, fears have been raised about election credibility as two ballot boxes were removed from a voting station by a party agent.

Mbeki cast his special vote at his home in Killarney this morning as he will be abroad tomorrow.

“He will (be) travelling to Cape Verde where he is attending the World Economic Forum as the chair of the Panel of the UN Economic Commission for Africa on Illicit Funds,” said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu.

Mokonyane, meanwhile, cast her special vote at the Noordheuwel Country Club in Krugersdorp.

However, two other special votes are hanging in the balance after two ballot boxes from Ward 77, Nigel on the East Rand, were discovered in the home of a party agent last night.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Gauteng provincial electoral officer, Masego Sheburi, said a police docket had been opened to determine if there was a criminal element to the incident.

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A total of 14 people were registered to cast their special votes at the station, but only two did so.

Sheburi said it was still unclear what would happen to these two votes as the IEC needed to investigate the matter further.

He said it had been alleged that the party agent was a member of the ANC, but this had not been confirmed.

Sheburi explained that the party agent was an observer at the voting station and that he had been removed from the station.

Mthembu said the ANC had launched its own investigation and could not confirm whether the agent was a member of the party.

Mthembu said it was not the responsibility of political parties to ensure the elections were free and fair.

“It’s the IEC’s responsibility to safeguard any papers and ballot boxes,” he said.

The DA’s candidate for premier in Gauteng, Mmusi Maimane, agreed.

“It’s a real case of concern… the IEC must be more vigilant,” he said.

Meanwhile an IEC tent in the Gugulethu informal settlement in Springs was burnt to the ground in a service delivery protest on Monday.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said 46 people had been arrested for public violence after the protest.

Beware fake profiles: ANC

THE ANC has warned against false social media profiles of its leaders that are promising to give people money.

In a statement released by ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu, the party said a profile had been created on Facebook in the name of their deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, pictured right.

“This pseudo account has been used to mislead the public and it makes promises about giving money to unsuspecting users,” Mthembu said.

He urged people to ignore the profile and any other false promises made by other fake accounts, should they arise.

“We hope that our engagement with Facebook will result in such messages being detected and destroyed before they reach the public.”

A search for this false profile of Duarte was unsuccessful this morning, suggesting that the page had been removed.

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