South Africa’s final election results will be finalised at
midnight, says the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
It’s been an arduous journey but the end is finally in
sight. With the counting and capturing of votes currently sitting at 97%, results
of South Africa’s sixth democratic election will be announced before Saturday
rolls around. This is according to the IEC, which added that the preliminary
results will be audited and ratified at a closing event, due to take place on
Final election results to be revealed soon
This year’s electoral conference has not been without controversy. In fact, it has been the most protracted and drama-filled election since the iconic 1994 vote. Most of these embattlements and delays relate directly to the IEC’s short-sightedness, ranging from insufficient ballot papers, to ‘disappearing’ indelible ink and fierce contestation from a group of 27 smaller parties.
Communication from the IEC, on a number of serious issues,
has been lacking, with only one media briefing taking place on Thursday as the
election results trickled out at a sluggish pace. During this media briefing, Chief
Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo, reiterated that the integrity of the vote had
not been compromised, adding:
“This has been a mammoth task, a mammoth responsibility. By midnight we will conclude the capture process.”
Voters attempting to vote twice, arrested
After hundreds of complaints, most of which relating to electoral fraud and the IEC’s questionable regulatory process at voting stations, Mamabolo called on the Deputy National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to expound on the arrest of at least 22 people who had ‘attempted’ to vote twice. The Deputy National Commissioner explained:
“In KwaZulu-Natal, 17 people voted at one venue and went to another venue and tried to vote again.
The Presiding Officer did ascertain whether they had not voted, it was discovered that they had voted, all 17 of them.
She reported them to the police and they ran away. Four were immediately arrested and the rest were arrested the following day.
They had not voted [for a second time].
All people arrested were attempting to vote again, but they did not succeed.”
The Commissioner added that similar arrests had been made in
other parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.
“Elections were free and fair” – IEC
The Commission’s operation manager added that the integrity of
this year’s ballot had not been jeopardised by these unlawful acts, explaining:
“It is a crime to attempt to vote more than once. We received information from various people about people identified for having done that and therefore they were arrested.
At this stage, we have no direct evidence that [a double vote] has happened. We are following up each and every specific case.”