The Electoral Commission (IEC) in KwaZulu-Natal has announced that result counting at voting stations has been completed, with capturing and auditing of the results on the system currently underway.
The Commission said a total of 13 943 results are expected, including all wards, local municipalities and district municipalities.
“Currently, we have received a full set of results in three of the province’s small municipalities, which is Mooi Mpofana Municipality with 27 voting districts, eNdumeni Municipality with 24 voting districts and eMadlangeni Municipality with 34 voting districts.
“These results have all been captured; however, they will not be immediately available because they still have to go through the auditing process which is currently under way,” the Provincial Commission said.
The Provincial Commission said it is impressed with the level of capturing in their offices, however, it noted that there are few sites – including AbaQulusi Municipality in Vryheid and uMdoni Municipality in Scottsburg – experiencing connectivity issues relating to either power outages or network connectivity.
It said these offices were able to relocate to nearby sites that are not experiencing these difficulties and commence capturing results.
In the eThekwini Metro Municipality, which is the biggest municipality in the province, the Provincial Commission reported that the area managers are still transporting [ballots] from voting stations to the Moses Mabhida Stadium results capturing site, and the staff is still clearing some exceptions on the system.
Meanwhile, counting had to be moved from some voting stations to another site due to volatility in the community.
“One of them is the eight voting stations in Mkhambathini that we have been reporting about in the last three days. We had to request authorisation from the Commission because of the volatility in the community to relocate the count to the MEO office.
“SAPS had to guarantee that they will secure the material, voting station officers and SAPS officers that were stationed in that area. However, SAPS could not guarantee because of the terrain, poor lighting in the area and the tensions that were in the community. Voting station staff, party agents and ballot boxes were escorted to the MEO office to administer the count,” the Provincial Commission said.
Also, counting at the voting station at eThekwini College Ward 32 had to be moved to another site because some community members had interfered with the voting process, alleging that they updated their registration detail during the registration weekend, but some of their names did not appear on the voters roll.
According to IEC, the community disrupted the voting process and confiscated the ballot box from the voting station for about 10 minutes.
“SAPS was reinforced; the ballot box was secured and the crowd was also dispersed. In consultation with the political party liaison committee, a resolution was taken to request the Commission’s authorisation to move the counting process from the voting stations to the eThekwini Metro capturing site.
“These ballots will be counted in the presence of the Party Liaison Committee to include a process of verification whether the number of ballots in the ballot box reconcile with the numbers that have been crossed off and marked as voted on the voters roll in the voting station. The matter is still under investigation by SAPS,” the IEC said.
The period between today and tomorrow at 5pm marks the time during which political parties can lodge their objections.
Legislation provides for objections material to the results that were captured at a voting station.
Section 65 of the Municipal Electoral Act empowers political parties and any other member of the community to lodge an objection with the Commission if they think that something went wrong at the voting station during the voting process that may prejudice the credibility of the election.
Source: South African Government News Agency