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IEC in Western Cape accused of fooling people by claiming voting had no major challenges

Good Party secretary-general Brett Herron said there appeared to be more IEC system errors this time than in previous elections. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Good Party secretary-general Brett Herron said there appeared to be more IEC system errors this time than in previous elections. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Published Nov 3, 2021

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Cape Town - The Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Western Cape has been accused by the Land Party of fooling people by saying that voting progressed without major challenges.

Vanessa Swanepoel, head of elections for the Land Party, said there was “nothing free or fair about the elections whatsoever”.

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“They have been nothing but a complete waste of time, money and energy. This at a time when South Africans are desperate for change, is completely unacceptable. South Africans from across the country have reported being turned away from voting stations they were registered to vote at,” said Swanepoel.

She said the Land Party was outraged at the lack of communication with parties and citizens regarding the situation.

“An investigation is not good enough as it does not rectify the situation or restore this right.”

Good Party secretary-general Brett Herron said there appeared to be more IEC system errors this time than in previous elections.

“I’m concerned about the number of people who claimed to have registered to vote, or to have changed their registration, on the voter registration weekend who were turned away from voting stations,” said Herron.

IEC provincial head Michael Hendrickse said the voter management device was also dependent on bandwidth, sometimes it dropped, fluctuated and caused the system to slow down.

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“We have experienced that in some other areas but it wasn’t a global state, and if that happens there was a plan B, to switch to a manual system,” said Hendrickse.

Voting in Kosovo informal settlement in Samora Machel. Voters across the country headed to their local polling stations to cast their votes in the 2021 municipal elections. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Cameron Dugmore, the leader of the opposition in the legislature and the ANC provincial head of the election campaign, said they were concerned at the turnout, and by some of the presiding officers refusing to open a second line for the voters.

Dugmore said that created problems and discouraged their supporters. However, he said they were encouraged by the improved performance at the rural municipalities in the Western Cape.

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The DA’s Cape Town IEC liaison, Reagen Allen, said: “We are winning voting districts previously held by other parties, which is a fantastic vote of confidence in the DA and its City of Cape Town leadership, and incoming mayor elect, Geordin Hill-Lewis.”

Allen said the IEC was of great concern as the system it used seemed to be unstable and thousands of voters stood for hours in the cold and wet weather.

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