Home South African Group storms IEC warehouse, demands to see ballot papers

Group storms IEC warehouse, demands to see ballot papers

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The police are investigating a case of intimidation after a group of close to 40 people stormed the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) warehouse, demanding to see election ballot papers.

An IEC official assists voters with ballot papers. File picture: Henk Kruger, Independent Newspapers

JOHANNESBURG – The police are investigating a case of intimidation after a group of close to 40 people stormed the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) warehouse, demanding to see election ballot papers.

Initially, police said at least 15 people stormed the warehouse, demanding access to the ballot papers.

Speaking on the sidelines of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration at the Union Buildings on Wednesday, national police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said the group presented themselves at the IEC’s warehouse in Booysens the day before.

“According to our preliminary reports, they were demanding to see whether the ballots had been counted. We are talking about a group of between 20 to 40 suspects,” Mathe said.

“For now, our members are on the ground concluding the investigation. They are taking statements from various witnesses and that’s why you see the number has increased.”

Mathe said the police are gathering evidence and are interviewing various witnesses.

She moved to squash allegations that the group are linked to the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party, led by former president Jacob Zuma.

“For now, we are looking for the group of suspects. We do not know who they are affiliated to. We do not know which party they belong to. We don’t want to make assumptions. We are busy with investigations. We have taken witness statements and are still investigating the motive and criminal element to it,” Mathe added.

Meanwhile, a Malawian national was arrested after allegedly using a dead person’s identity document to obtain accreditation for the presidential inauguration.

Mathe said the man was charged with fraud and contravention of the Immigration Act. He remains in police custody.

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