Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Electoral Commission (IEC) on Saturday vowed to oppose any legal action relating to alleged irregularities that occurred in the 2019 general elections.

Earlier this week, a group of smaller political parties raised issue with certain discrepancies they claim occurred on election day including double voting, vanishing ink and lost ballots.  

The parties then wrote a letter to the IEC demanding an independent audit into the election results well as a “rerun” of the elections. 

They threatened to approach the Electoral Court if they received an unsatisfactory response from the IEC. 

The group of more than 10 political parties included the likes of the African Peoples' Convention (APC), National Freedom Party, African Transformation Movement (ATM), Black First Land First, Land Party, and the Socialist Workers Revolutionary Party (SWRP). 

The IEC on Saturday afternoon said it would "vigorously oppose any legal action threatening to interfere in the conduct of the elections as well as the finalisation and announcement of results". 

"In response to a letter [from the parties]... the commission wrote to lawyers representing the parties advising that their demands were unreasonable and unlawful.  

"The commission noted that only it was empowered by law to adjudicate on the outcome of elections, declare the outcome and announce results. Aggrieved parties had ample recourse to raise objections through the normal objection process and, if still unsatisfied, to appeal decisions of the Commission in court."

The IEC added that it had received 47 objections, five of which were upheld and another five withdrawn by the objecting parties. 

The commission further said that the remaining objections failed to meet the requirements of section 55 and lacked any evidence of irregularity. 

"The commission is satisfied with the integrity of its systems. 

"Additionally, the commission has further instituted an independent technical assurance process involving a random sample of 1020 voting districts to be conducted by the Statistician-General and is awaiting the findings of this process," the IEC said. 

The commission confirmed that the announcement of results would proceed as scheduled on Saturday night.  

IOL