Durban - The Independent Electoral Commission in KZN has given the thumbs up to how the elections went in the province saying that all 4 880 voting stations opened on Wednesday - albeit five of them later than the 7am start time.
Mawethu Mosery, the IEC deputy electoral officer said about 300 voting stations in the provinces were opened until 1am on Thursday.
"The voting went well and we are satisfied," Mosery said.
"Yes, we opened five voting stations very late yesterday at about 4pm. Those were four in Bergville and one in Dr Langalibalele Municipality. We opened (in total) nine late. Seven of the late opening there were no queues and we were able to close at 9pm in terms of the law," he said.
At a briefing on Wednesday, the IEC said that of the 17 voting stations that hadn't opened by midday -14 from KZN.
Election day in KZN was also marred by protests in Umbumbulu, Folweni, Adams Mission, Umgababa, Lamontville, Higginson Highway, Ntuzuma and Cato Manor since the early hours of the morning.
But despite these early hiccups, Mosery said that elections as a whole were successful.
Mosery said that the voting figures that were on the IEC website and in the public domain were audited and declared.
About 20% of all voting districts in KZN had been declared by 11am on Thursday.
"We are in a good spot in terms of our plans. In terms of the indications of irregularities, the major issue is the ink and the commission has indicated at a national level that we need time to investigate and make an announcement. It will be a national picture and then we will deduct a provincial picture from that conclusion," he said.
IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo today said they were concerned about claims of double voting and promised to prosecute those found to have been that were responsible.
He said regarding double voting the issue of people removing ink is one control among a number of controls.
“You have to present yourself with an ID, you have to be crossed off the voters’ roll… in total there are eight controls.
“To the extent that there are people who claimed they have voted twice this is not what we want from South African society and this is not what we want as the IEC. We are on their heels and we want them prosecuted.”
He said if it is found that electoral officers are part of the problem then they too will be prosecuted.
“To the extent that there is evidence that points to collusion on the part of our staff we will prosecute them with the same vigour, if not more.”
He said the election has been fairly run and in most parts of the country ‘it proceeded extremely well’.
Mamabolo said it was regrettable that voting stations had run short of ballot papers.
“We had enough ballot papers but some officials did not follow the distribution instructions fully, for instance not taking one hundred per cent of the ballot papers to a particular voting station. They elected to take half or a percentage.
Mamabolo said this resulted in voting stations running short during the day and having to call for more ballots.
“That is highly regrettable and ought not to have happened.”