IEC says vote rigging impossible in May 29 elections

The IEC’s National Results Operations Centre in Midrand has been declared open for the May 29 elections. Picture: Faheem Khota/IOL

The IEC’s National Results Operations Centre in Midrand has been declared open for the May 29 elections. Picture: Faheem Khota/IOL

Published May 22, 2024


The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) says it will be almost impossible for anyone to rig the May 29 elections.

This is according to IEC board chairperson Mosotho Moepya, who was speaking at the launch of the National Results Operations Centre (ROC) in Midrand on Wednesday, which will house hundreds of political parties, at least 1,000 journalists and scores of election observers from all over the world.

“We have not found a way to open a loophole for that to happen. If we are looking for one, the purpose is to close it,” he said.

Speaking to IOL on the sidelines at the ROC, Moepya said they were serious about avoiding any instance of voting fraud.

“And this is not only about the voter management device, the VMD is just one of 30 security measures that we have.

“It also works as a tool to stop the IEC paying ghost workers, so the 273,000 volunteers we have are verified because the device will tell us this is a ghost worker, it also works as a scanning machine clocking in workers.

“So the VMD will be able to record when a voter came to the voting station, what time did they vote and where.

“The device will tell us if a voter tries do something they should. It will tell me it's time to go knock in your door,” he said.

Moepya said the IEC had stringent security measures in place to prevent vote rigging and voter fraud, but he said he could not disclose these on public fora for security reasons.

“We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that these elections are credible, free and fair,” he said.

The IEC’s chief electoral officer Masego Sheburi implored the 27 million registered voters to come out in their numbers and vote next Wednesday.

“I call upon all South Africans to make one cross by voting in these elections.

“Let us all foster an environment enrouted in trust, integrity and respect,” said Sheburi, adding that the commission was ready to ensure the will of the people was done.

Moepya said the ROC at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand was “not merely a physical space, but a commitment to transparency and commitment to integrity”.

The Midrand venue was commissioned as the venue after the Tshwane Events Centre went into ruins.

All election votes would be counted at the voting stations and the presiding officers along with party agents would issue a voter results slip which would be communicated to the ROC through an electronic system.

IEC Commissioner Janet Love said they would strive to be better and to be ahead of the pack in terms of electoral management.

“This is a huge endeavour. It is a journey started two years ago which has seen us have to deal with many punches along the way.

“We have recruited 273,000 people transparently to serve. I thank all those who are part of electoral operations,” she said.

“To the 27 million voters, we want you to vote and we want you to appear in all your numbers so we can fulfil our promise to the South African voters when we declare the result,” she said.