Small parties send lawyer’s letter to the IECSouth Africa

Attorneys for a group of 27 political parties has urgently written to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) demanding an independent audit and a delay to the declaration of election results.

The group has been threatening court action since Thursday, after reports began to emerge of double voting, late-opening voting stations, indelible ink coming off and scanners not working.

The extent of the irregularities is yet to be determined however, and the IEC has commissioned a “soft” or “quick” audit to get a better picture.

In the letter, the parties — which include the Congress of the People, the Pan Africanist Congress, the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party and the African Content Movement — said the reports of irregularities during voting could not be attributed to “isolated incidents”, but could be directly linked to “a failure of the system”.

The complaints raised “are not only material to the outcome of the elections, but by the very nature thereof cast serious doubts over the credibility and the freeness and fairness” of the elections, they said.


They complain that the audit is being conducted by the IEC, saying it is compromised, and demand that the IEC appoint independent auditors by 11 am on Saturday and refrain from declaring the outcome of the election.

However it is understood that the sampling and the audit is being conducted by the Statistician-General. Should the parties go to court, the Electoral Act says that the results of the election are not suspended pending the decision of the electoral court. 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday