Johannesburg – The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has dismissed allegations of electoral fraud in the recent George by-elections, saying its investigation into the complaints revealed no malfeasance.
The statement by the IEC comes in the wake of a complaint lodged by the GOOD Party ahead of last week’s by-elections in the area.
According to the party, more than 188 voters were allegedly registered as living at one address (a small RDP-type house).
In a statement on Tuesday, the IEC said it concluded that all voters were correctly registered.
By-elections were held in ward 16, ward 20, and ward 27 in George last week.
The party, through its leader, Brett Herron, indicated that the DA fraudulently registered some of its voters in order to rig the elections.
“The systems developed to protect the integrity of South Africa’s democratic electoral processes failed the people of George yesterday, where three by-elections went ahead under a cloud of prima facie evidence of voter registration fraud perpetrated by the DA.”
Herron said its evidence submitted to the electoral commission included affidavits by DA canvassers who falsely registered people from outside wards where by-elections were being held as living in the wards, thereby fraudulently qualifying them to vote, as well as a list of names of fraudulently registered voters with their ID numbers and real home addresses.
“GOOD submitted evidence to the IEC five days before the by-elections, demanding that the by-elections be postponed until the voter’s roll had been investigated and cleansed. But the IEC responded that the information was received too late to be considered, and the Electoral Court appeared to agree,” Herron said.
Responding to allegations brought by the GOOD Party, IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said all the voters were correctly registered in the voting district and ward linked to their addresses.
“The Electoral Commission, in keeping with its obligation to ensure free and fair elections, had considered the case of the 174 voters and concluded that all those voters were correctly registered in the voting district and ward linked to their addresses and thus entitled to vote in the by-election.
“The affected voters were not, as alleged, new entrants on that ward segment of the voter roll,” Bapela said.