IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo addressing journalists in Pretoria. Picture: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

Pretoria - Knife-wielding men accosted a group of Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) officials in Giyani, in the Limpopo province and confiscated 93 unused provincial ballot papers before damaging them, chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said on Tuesday.

"Fortunately, no one was injured and the cast ballots, seven of them were secured and not affected. The SA Police Service was quick to respond and two suspects have been arrested and they are in police custody," Mamabolo updated media at the National Results Operations Centre in Pretoria.

The IEC officials were on an assignment to help a resident cast a special vote, ahead of the elections on Wednesday.

Police in Limpopo said the duo is aged 30 and 35.

"The IEC officials were about to enter one homestead at around 11am in Guwela village where they were going to assist one citizen to cast a special vote when a group of men approached them, prevented them from executing their duties and damaged the ballot papers," said Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

The pair is charged under the Contravention of the Electoral Act and Malicious Damage to Property.

The men, both from a nearby Mnghongoma village, are expected to appear before the Giyani Magistrate's Court soon.

African News Agency (ANA)