Voting that was under way in the local government elections on November 1. Picture: Leon Lestrade / African News Agency (ANA)
Voting that was under way in the local government elections on November 1. Picture: Leon Lestrade / African News Agency (ANA)

IEC in the Western Cape authorising a recount in 12 voting districts

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Nov 11, 2021

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Cape Town - Following an investigation, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Western Cape has authorised a recount in 12 of the 24 voting districts identified by the Cape Independence Party.

The commission opined that there were sufficient particulars provided to support the need for an investigation.

The Cape Independence Party had launched an objection at the IEC with respect to erroneous "zero" vote totals attributed to the party in voting districts across the Western Cape.

These objections relate to "zero" vote totals in VDs where party agents observed 151 votes cast but the IEC recorded the total number of votes as "zero".

This also comes in light of the police investigating a case of corruption against the IEC in the province after the EFF claimed it succeeded in two wards in the Cape metro before their votes were stolen during the Local Government Elections.

Mbulelo Dwane, who was EFF's councillor candidate in Ward 18 Site C, Khayelitsha, lodged the complaint after he allegedly noticed that the signatures on the voting result slips were not those of the party agents.

Dwane said he disputed the results captured by IEC Officials. He said the presiding officers of IEC allegedly refused their party agencies to take pictures of the results slips though it was permitted.

"The signatures that appeared on the results slips are not the signature of our party agents, and that’s in breach of the electoral code of conduct," said Dwane.

He said the results captured were not the results that were counted in the voting station.

EFF provincial spokesperson Wandile Kasibe confirmed that one of their candidates in Ward 18 lodged an objection to the results with IEC and was awaiting the outcome from them.

IEC Provincial Electoral Officer Michael Hendrickse said: "As the matter has been reportedly lodged with the SAPS, the IEC will fully cooperate with any ensuing investigation."

“I welcome that parties follow the legal route as per the Electoral Act to raise concerns. The Commission investigated and decided the best way to determine the specific objections with sufficient particularity, as opposed to generalised claims, was a recount in a very limited number of voting districts,” Hendrickse said.

National police spokesperson Vish Naidoo said there were a number of cases opened against the IEC.

Naidoo said in this case, the complainant reported that on November 2, all the counting for the elections was done at the voting stations in the area, and after counting, a voting result slip was to be signed by all the party agents.

Naidoo said all the relevant party agents signed the voting result slip and the documentation, with all the voting material was taken to the counting centre by the presiding officer.

"A few days later, Dwane received an SMS, as per protocol, from the counting station with the update on the counting figures," he said.

He said Dwane immediately noticed that the signatures on the voting result slips were not those of the party agents, and it seemed like it was the same person that re-signed every document.

"According to Dwane, this indicates that foul play took place. He reported the situation to the board who regulates the IEC. They informed him that they will lodge an investigation, but a criminal case should also be opened."

Naidoo said others include a case investigated by the Winelands Cluster Detectives, where a party agent stated that a person was casting more votes than he or she was entitled to.

He said another case was opened the day after the elections whereby a party agent complained of a person impersonating him or her as an IEC official.

Naidoo said another case was open on November 9. He said a party agent alleged that the officials on duty did not know what they did and that they were either removing and or concealing voting material.

“This office can confirm that the case by the Winelands Cluster Detectives and the one involving the casting more votes were finalised on investigation and sent to Paarl Court for decision. The last case was still to be further investigated before being sent to court for decision. Pending a decision, no arrest was made,” he said.

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