An IEC voting station in the eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/Independent Media.
An IEC voting station in the eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Jehran Naidoo/Independent Media.

KZN ward residents steal ballot box, police snatch it back minutes later

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Nov 2, 2021

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DURBAN - The election process in KwaZulu-Natal province was disrupted on Monday when a ballot box filled with marked papers was allegedly stolen by angry community members, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has confirmed.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) had to retrieve the ballot box which was missing for about 10 minutes, according to the IEC.

The IEC’s acting electoral officer in KZN Ntombifuthi Masinga, said during a briefing on Tuesday that the community members from ward 32 (Durban central) in eThekwini had stolen the box because some people who had registered to vote, had found that their names did not appear on the voters’ roll on election day.

Masinga said the box was stolen for about ten minutes and the ballots inside the box will need to be verified with the commission’s voters roll in the station. She said the commission will soon make a judgment call on the stolen box and confirmed that the police were investigating the incident.

She said that some people will have to account for the disruptions caused to the electoral process. Masinga revealed that political parties will have a window period to lodge objections or complaints to the IEC with regards to election results.

“Some members of that community interfered with the voting process because they were alleging that they had updated their registration details during the registration weekend but their names were not appearing on the voters’ roll. We had just over 70,000 people in that station and they were alleging that over 4000 people were left out.

“As a result they disrupted the voting process at the voting station to a point where they confiscated the ballot box for about ten minutes and they blocked everyone who wanted to vote at that voting station until the police reinforced that area.

“We took a resolution as the commission that we move the count to the metro capturing site where those ballot boxes will be counted in the presence of the PLC. We will verify whether the number of ballots inside the ballot boxes reconcile with the numbers that have been marked and voted in that station,” Masinga said.

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Political Bureau

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