Cape Town - Henriette Abrahams , an independent candidate in the fiercely contested ward 50 in Bonteheuwel, has lodged a complaint with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) and the Electoral Court over the counting process at voting stations in the area.
Abrahams said reports from party agents revealed that the IEC presiding officers (PO) and staff were not transparent, disrespectful towards agents and violated the IEC Code of Conduct and Electoral Act.
She objected the election results and called for an investigation.
Abrahams alleged that in the voting district special votes were only announced with no specifics of how many of the votes of the allocation were cast to candidates.
She said only the DA party agents were allowed to witness the breaking of the seals and this agent accurately announced before two box seals were broken, while the presiding officer insisted that all agents’ cellphones be switched off with no pens and paper allowed during the counting process.
Abrahams alleged that the two IEC staff members were known DA members with the one being ward 50 DA branch chairperson and another the deputy counting officer.
“These very two IEC staff members counted the DA votes cast with their backs to all agents with no party agent being able to witness actual ballots cast and where the crosses have been made.
“When our party agent and the Good Party wanted to move their chairs, the PO in a very rude and disrespectful manner shouted at them to not move their chairs,” she said.
Abrahams said after the ward and PR ballots were counted the PO asked the party agents to take a break outside the counting room which took about an hour, during which time the IEC staff remained inside and had meetings around the PO’s table with the ballot papers on it.
“When the agents returned to the venue the ballot boxes were filled and closed with blue tape without the agents present and no seal numbers were shown or given to the agents,” she said.
Good Party candidate Daniel Jacobs said IEC officials gave damaged ballot papers to voters, while serial numbers were also damaged and when counted some were considered as spoilt.
Jacobs said Good Party agents refused to sign off the voter outcome certificates due to the irregularities and discrepancies, which he said happened at other voting stations.