IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo briefs the media. File picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA).
IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo briefs the media. File picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA).

#Elections2019: IEC welcomes readiness inspection

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Apr 14, 2019

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Centurion - Political parties contesting elections have been invited to bring their information technology experts by the Electoral Commission (IEC) to inspect the hi-tech machinery it is using for the May 8 polls.

This week, the commission assured United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa that it had everything in order ahead of the crucial elections.

“The electoral commission extended an invitation to all political parties should they be so inclined

“To this end political parties may bring their IT experts to inspect and audit the results systems,” said chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo in a letter to Holomisa, which was seen by Independent Media this week.

The commission assured the 48 parties that its systems were custom designed and implemented by its staff with the help of the private companies hired.

The IEC contracted more than a dozen IT firms for the elections, but Mamabolo assured the country the checks and balances built into the result-processing system were in place.

Holomisa wrote to the IEC earlier this month asking for details of the IT companies contracted by the commission for the elections.

He asked the IEC whether only one IT company was appointed through a tendering process.

Holomisa was interested to know what stages of the capturing of election results the companies would be involved in.

An independent audit of the results centre has assured voters the system could “run the successful electoral events in so far as capturing results, calculating seats and assigning seats based on the work performed”.

Earlier this week, EFF leader Julius Malema said his party was prepared for anything.

“There won’t be a voting station in South Africa without EFF ears and eyes.

“It’s a very sensitive one that has the potential of creating a crisis if not properly answered,” he said when asked of his confidence in the IEC’s systems.

Malema said his party was prepared for anything.

He confirmed that Holomisa wrote to the IEC to check who owns IT companies and their political affiliation.

”We want all of that,” he demanded.

He said he wanted to know if the Russians and Israelis were among the owners of these companies.

According to Malema, opposition parties were prepared for any eventuality and the voting process would be watched like a hawk.

”We’re not only looking after EFF votes, that’s an instruction to our party agents.

“Azapo votes, PAC votes, UDM votes, Cope votes, if someone wants to steal it, look after it because they may not have the capacity we have,” he said.

Malema said the EFF was looking after the votes of the opposition parties, including the DA.

“We call on all opposition parties to do the same. Where there is no EFF and you’re there, tell the IEC I represent all opposition parties.

“Stealing EFF votes, you must not think I’m going to be party to it, I must raise the alarm,” said Malema.

Sunday Independent

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