SACP complains of vote rigging in Free State by-election

SACP contested elections for the first time under its name, and not as alliance partner with ANC.
SACP contested elections for the first time under its name, and not as alliance partner with ANC.
Image: ROGAN WARD

Voting in one of the wards in the Metsimaholo by-election in the Free State might have to be repeated.

This comes after the South African Communist Party (SACP) complained about irregularities in a voting district of Ward 1.

The municipality held ward and proportional representation by-elections on Wednesday.

SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said on the Karima Brown Show on Radio 702 that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had agreed to a rerun.

The SACP raised the concerns about possible vote rigging‚ including some citizens voting twice.

According to SACP Free State provincial secretary Bheke Stofile‚ one of the voting districts in Ward 1 will be ring-fenced and rerun.

“All of us agreed that a terrible thing went wrong on that VD (voting district)‚ not on the ward.”

According to Stofile‚ the ballot papers for Ward 19 were used in Ward 1 and the identity documents of certain voters were not scanned.

He said the SACP had complained on Tuesday and reiterated their complaints with the IEC on Wednesday.

Mashilo said that was why the IEC did not announce the results for the by-elections on Thursday.

“There was an acknowledgment [from the IEC] of some of those practices‚ leading to a decision that there must be a rerun of one of the voting stations in Zamdela.”

Mashilo said the rerun is expected to happen on Wednesday.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said on Thursday night they are finalising the results. She said they expect to announce the election results on Friday. She said the IEC and political parties will then meet to discuss complaints.

“We’ll take it from there.”

According to preliminary information posted on the IEC’s website‚ the ANC received about 34.6% of the vote‚ the DA 27.9%‚ the EFF 19.1% and the SACP 8.7%.

Elections analyst Dawie Scholtz said the performance of the SACP in townships showed it could have a “devastating impact on the ANC if it breaks away”.

-TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.

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