IEC calls in statistician-general to tackle alleged electoral fraud

10 May 2019 - 21:48 By AMIL UMRAW
IEC head Sy Mamabolo says the counting of votes should be concluded by midnight.on Friday.
IEC head Sy Mamabolo says the counting of votes should be concluded by midnight.on Friday.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

The statistician-general will conduct an audit of just over 1,000 voting stations to determine the extent of voter fraud during the general elections.

At a media briefing on Friday evening, IEC commissioner Janet Love said the statistician-general would be sampling a list of 1,020 voting stations as part of an "independent technical assurance process".

PODCAST: Smaller parties suspect fraud

"The IEC will receive a list of 1,020 voting stations from the statistician-general, which will form the sample for an independent technical assurance process. This list of the 1,020 voting stations will be made available for political parties as soon as it is received later this evening," Love said.

"It is an independent process. We provided the statistician-general with the full voters' roll with the full system of the voting districts. They then apply their various methodologies to come up with an appropriate sample," Love added.

Twenty-two people have thus far been arrested for voter fraud. In Dannhauser, KwaZulu-Natal, 17 people were arrested for voting more than once and in Hluhluwe, two brothers were arrested at a voting station after insisting they had not previously voted - this while indelible ink was still present on their fingers.

Love emphasised that a mere attempt to vote more than once was illegal and punishable by law.

"In the electoral act it is a crime to attempt to vote more than once. The arrest caused the police to conduct an investigation, with the assistance of the voting stations that were impacted," Love said.

"And what you have heard from the police is that in the cases they have done that investigation, even though people attempted, for whatever reason, not any of those were found to have actually voted twice. The mere attempt to have done so, whether you succeeded in doing so or did not succeed to do so, is punishable."

IEC chief executive Sy Mamabolo said results should be concluded by midnight.

"We are just about to conclude the results collation process. At the moment, 96% of all voting stations in the country have declared results," he said.

"This has been a mammoth task, a mammoth responsibility. However, it gives us pleasure as a commission that we are about to conclude what the constitution demands of us. By midnight, we would have concluded the 779 voting stations still to capture."

Just after 9pm on Friday, the ANC had gathered 57.67% of the national vote, with the DA trailing behind by 20.71% while the EFF stood at 10.59%.

The ANC remained firmly in control of the other provinces it had been governing prior to this election except Gauteng, where it was still struggling to exceed the 51% mark required to win with an outright majority by 9pm.

The DA had retained control of the Western Cape, albeit with a reduced majority, from 59% in 2014 to 55% in this year's election.

The IEC was scheduled to declare the official results on Saturday evening - but this could be delayed by the alleged voter fraud.