Home South African Dispute over election results heads to Electoral Court

Dispute over election results heads to Electoral Court

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The African Transformation Movement (ATM) says it will be heading to the Electoral Court to demand a recount of the votes in last week’s elections amid concerns of “irregularities” in their capturing.

Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chairperson Mosotho Moepya speaking at the National Results Operations Centre (ROC) at the Gallagher convention centre. Picture: Itumeleng English, Independent Newspaper

THE AFRICAN Transformation Movement (ATM) says it will be heading to the Electoral Court to demand a recount of the votes in last week’s elections amid concerns of “irregularities” in their capturing.

This after the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) announced the results of the 2024 national and provincial elections on Sunday. The commission declared the elections free and fair and handed over the list of elected public representatives to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The ATM said it was speaking on behalf of several parties that had raised concerns about the handling of the general elections. It was reported that close to 579 objections had been lodged with the IEC by various political parties. The deputy CEO of the IEC, Mawethu Mosery, said Sunday’s event was not a press briefing and the issue of the objections would be dealt with via a media statement, either later on Sunday or Monday.

The parties, led by the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP), had demanded that the IEC not declare the results until their concerns about irregularities had been resolved.

Former president Jacob Zuma, now leader of the MKP, was among those who demanded that the results not be announced, going as far as to state that the declaration of the results could be seen as provocation to those that felt cheated by the process.

MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said they would announce the way forward soon. “We were waiting to see if the results would be announced and now that they have been announced, we will formulate a position.”

Several complaints have been lodged with the commission, including over the long queues at polling stations and the malfunctioning of voting machines.

ATM spokesperson Zama Ntshona said the complaints that had been raised included the incorrect capturing of votes.

“We have taken a sample of over 500 incidents across the country where we have found that the result slips have been tampered with.

“From the point where the result slips are signed at the station to where they are submitted, they are changed in these instances. We found that the result slip submitted no longer has the signatures of all of the parties that were at the voting station.

“What they would do is that, if party A has a 100 votes and party B has 20 votes, they will change that so that party A has 118 votes and party B has 2 votes. They still keep it within the margin of the people that voted.

“Keep this in mind, there are 24,000 voting stations in the country, if someone takes one vote, that is 24,000 votes, if they take 10 votes that is 240,000 votes, which is five seats in Parliament,” said the ATM spokesperson.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo described the 2024 elections as the credible record of the political choice of the voters in the country, adding that the survey of the observers bears testimony to this.

He declared the elections free and fair, saying the trust in the electoral commission was high and almost all voters felt they were safe to cast their votes in secret.

“Over 90 of the sampled voters were satisfied with the voting procedures.”

IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya said all processes were concluded.

“These elections were the most difficult and most contested, conducted with fairness, transparency and high standards that were expected. There were many challenges that we had to overcome.”

He said they had endeavoured to deliver elections that were compliant, but faced attack and efforts to undermine the institution and its credibility and what seems like intimidation.

He said after considering the laws and the extensive measures put in place to safeguard the elections, they could declare the elections free and fair.

“The result represents the collective voice of our nation and is a badge of honour.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the result represented victory for all the people of South Africa.

“We have held another successful election that has been free, fair and credible. The result represents the will of the people. They expect their leaders to work together for the good of everyone, that is what the people of South Africa have said.”

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