The Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters on Thursday expressed concern at the manner in which the Independent Electoral Commission conducted the 2016 local government elections in some parts of Mpumalanga.
Provincial secretary of the EFF, Alfred Skhosana, told the African News Agency (ANA) that the IEC “used ink of bad quality” at an unnamed voting station in the Gert Sibande District Municipality on voting day Wednesday.
“The ink could easily be erased from voters’ thumbs,” said Skhosana.
“IEC officials replaced the ink after we complained, but many people had already voted at the time. We suspect this ink was used in order to allow people to vote more than once. I am now driving to the IEC’s provincial centre to lodge a formal complaint.”
Despite this, Skhosana was confident his party would make inroads in many municipalities and win a number of wards. He said the EFF had already won two wards in Victor Khanye Local Municipality.
“We are happy for having won wards in a municipality where we don’t have a strong presence,” he said.
The DA’ss provincial leader, James Masango, said some ballot papers were not sealed properly at some voting stations.
“Voting started late at certain voting stations,” said Masango. “We cannot say this is a big problem but the IEC must learn from its mistakes. This thing must be avoided in future.”
Masango said he was confident the DA would emerge victorious in many municipalities. He said the initial election results had shown that the DA had retained its wards in Steve Tshwete, Govan Mbeki and Mbombela local municipalities.
ANC provincial secretary, Mandla Ndlovu, said the ruling party would retain all the municipalities that were in its control prior to the elections.
“If you hear people complaining about the referee after the game, you must know they have lost,” said Ndlovu.
“We are happy with the way in which the IEC conducted the elections. All the matters that were faced at voting stations were dealt with by the political party representatives.”
National spokesperson for the IEC Kate Bapela said all the parties who contested the elections – but who were not satisfied with the voting processes – were at liberty to lodge complaints through the commission’s formal structures.
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