IEC Confirms Official Arrested for Trying to Put Marked Ballots into Box

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says a presiding officer was arrested in eThekwini after allegedly stuffing marked ballots into a ballot box.

The IEC says says over 99% of the 23 148 voting stations opened on time to kick start voting in the 2021 Municipal Elections.

South Africans headed to polls on Monday in the local government elections which is expected to be one of the most hotly contested elections as service delivery issues continue to plague the country. 

The commission’s Glen Machining says the arrest of presiding officer had not affected Monday’s voting process.

“As reported earlier, a presiding officer in the eThekwini Metro was arrested after allegedly stuffing marked ballots into a ballot box. The matter is now in the hands of the South African Police. This incident, which did not affect voting, is a testament to the in-built safeguards in the voting process that also include an active role for party and independent candidate agents.” 

Mashinini says many voting stations have reported strong turnout from early in the day with many voters already waiting to vote before the 7am opening. 

“The logistical arrangements as well as the voter management devices are holding well, on the whole. As at 12h30 over 3.5 million voters had already voted. We are able to report this because of the use of the voter management devices.” 

Mashinini says IEC also regrets the arrest of a Newzroom Afrika journalist at a voting station in Soweto and after intervention of the Commission, the journalist has been released and an investigation into the circumstances of his arrest will be instituted.

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