Residents on the Atlantic Seaboard queue in Sea Point to cast their vote. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Residents on the Atlantic Seaboard queue in Sea Point to cast their vote. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

#SAElections2019: Numerous hiccups cause headache for Western Cape IEC

By Marvin Charles Time of article published May 8, 2019

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Cape Town - The DA and the ANC in the Western Cape have confirmed that they have filed a number of complaints to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) over the elections.

At the Parow Civic Centre, voting ballot papers were just delivered a few hours before voting stations closes, as they have been without ballot papers since 4pm according to Mayor Dan Plato.

“I was there and hundreds of people left because there were no more ballot papers, this is just poor planning from the IEC. I believe that this technical issue is a way to push many of our people away from voting for the DA,” he said.

Plato then revealed that the Democratic Alliance has lodged a complaint with the IEC. 

“We have escalated the matter and our party has also lodged a complaint. And we have raised our concerns,” Plato said. 

 Lionel Adendorf, the ANC head of communication, confirmed that the ANC as also investigating the matter but "would be able to respond when we have concluded such an investigation”.

IEC Spokesperson, Trevor Davids, however refuted the claims made by Mayor Plato: “This is not correct Courtney Sampson (IEC Provincial HEAD) voted in the area at 2pm and was waiting for around an hour or two for ballot papers too arrive and they did. They received more than enough ballot papers.”

Sampson further commented saying the IEC was expecting a low voter turnout in the Western Cape.

“We are not very satisfied with the voter turnout this is mainly due to the weather because its raining and although we need the rain so that our dams can be full we did not plan enough for this,” Sampson said.

Sampson said they encountered a number of problems among them a so-called racial incident that took place in Wellington.

A Facebook post by student Chumani Siimane purportedly shows voters at the polling station divided into separate lines for whites and blacks. Siimane told IOL that a group of around 30 students travelled to the voting station from a nearby college in two minibus taxis.

Most of them were not registered at that particular station and fully understood that this would require them to fill in an additional form and exclude them from voting in the provincial election, she said.

According to Siimane, the IEC officials were initially reluctant to assist them and tried to send them to a different voting station some distance away but the students refused. She says they were also told to buy their own pens as there were not enough pens for them to fill out the required paperwork.

The IEC however says videos have been taken out of context.

“There were students who were registered in one place and then they were applying to register or to vote a joining place. And because of this practical arrangement the students were asked to stand on one side because of the fact that they were now applying while the other people did not have to do that the whole system they were kept aside and continued with their filling in forms. And this explanation makes sense to me,” Sampson said. 

Another incident they encountered was voters using the opportunity to go to different voting districts that they were not registered in:

“This placed enormous pressure on our plans and then specific voting stations ran out of ballot papers. The problem was people who were not registered in their area visiting a different voting station and this was the primary problem,” he said.

Sampson also apologised to voters who stood in queues for long hours specifically in Cape Town City Bowl where ballot papers ran up.

“We apologise to those people because it seems that we let them down,” Sampson said.


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Cape Argus

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