Home South African EC vote counting relocated after shooting

EC vote counting relocated after shooting

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A number of protests and incidents of taxi violence resulted in hundreds of voting stations not opening on time.

Vote counting in Nelson Mandela Bay had to be moved at three sites due to a shooting incident. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

VOTE counting in Nelson Mandela Bay had to be moved at three sites due to a shooting incident, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said.

Reflecting on two days of special voting and the voting on Wednesday, provincial electoral officer Kayakazi Magudumana said a number of protests and incidents of taxi violence resulted in hundreds of voting stations not opening on time.

During the special vote on Monday and Tuesday, 302 stations did not open, and in Port St John only 81 out of 134 voting stations opened.

“That’s a big number, we’ve never had a situation where in one municipality the majority of voting stations do not open. So, I can safely say this was the worst, looking at what has happened in the few elections that we’ve managed.

“There were technical glitches with the voter management devices (VMD) in particular. The VMD was procured to ensure our administration processes in the voting station are enhanced.

“There was a decision taken by managers that if it continues to have problems, switch off and make use of the voters roll.

“Whenever we have an election to manage we always have plan B as the IEC.

“Unfortunately, the VMD made those problems, we found that most of the stations had long queues,” Magudumana said.

She added that while the VMD was supposed to make the process more efficient and speed things up, it did not do so in reality and instead caused further delays.

IEC Eastern Cape manager Siyabonga Maki added that counting at three voting stations had to be shifted because of a shooting incident in Gqeberha.

He said that while the shooting was not directed at IEC staff, the commission permitted them to move because of safety concerns.

Eastern Cape provincial police commissioner, Major-General Nomthetheleli Lillian Mene said with over 4 000 voting stations in the province across eight districts, during planning, they realised in OR Tambo, most voting stations required them to have additional members.

“We sourced members from districts with less voting stations like Sarah Baartman, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City Metro. Chris Hani, Amathole, Alfred Nzo had shortages.

We (also) received members from the national head office, Nelson Mandela Bay and transported them to OR Tambo which had most shortages.”

She said their deployment was not static on the first day, and consisted of rolling teams, while on Wednesday they had officers stationed at different voting stations.

“At the low risk (stations), we had two members, medium risk four members, high risk six members.”

She added that as counting continued they had also planned to monitor the situation during and beyond the announcement of the final results.

Cape Times

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