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South Africa ANC takes early lead but polls marred in ‘double voting doubts’

Filed under: Breaking News,International News |

South African ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has taken an early lead as counting of national and provincial ballots continued in the early hours of Thursday, May 9.

By 6: 45am the ANC had garnered more than 53 percent of the total votes cast (14% of all voting stations), with the Democratic Alliance (DA) at about 27 percent and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at a lowly 7 percent but expected to increase significantly.

Meanwhile the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) earlier said that it does not have measures in place to ensure that voters do not repeat-vote. This came out during the IEC media briefing earlier on Wednesday where they were giving an update on the progress of the voting around the country.

Asked whether there were other safeguard measures in place to ensure that voters do not repeat-vote, Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo could only say it was an offence to do so and they would immediately prosecute whoever is found guilty of the offence.

Questions around the possibility of some people voting more than once arose when some people reported to have been able to erase what is supposed to be an indelible mark on their left thumps, which is applied before one could cast a vote, as a safety measure to ensure no one votes more than once.

Every station is equipped with a zip-zip machine which is used to scan ID barcodes to check voter registration and so on.

According to Mamabolo, the machine would not stop anyone from voting twice in the event they have managed to delete their “indelible” marks.

“The zip-zip machine is not connected to any live network. It operates as a local machine to facilitate voting at particular stations. Those who are attempt to double-vote need to know that, that is an offence… we will want to have them prosecuted immediately,” says Mamabolo.

Voting for the general elections around the country is said to be proceeding smoothly in most parts of the country, except in isolated areas where some stations either opened late, remain closed or stations ran out of ballot papers.

The non-opening of several stations and the late-opening of some has been attributed to service deliver issues in those area.

“We plead with those communities to put the interests of the country ahead of their narrow community interest an allow voting to proceed,” says IEC’s Deputy CEO, Masego Shiburi.


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