IEC officials harassed by political party in Worcester



August 3, 2016
IEC officials harassed by political party in Worcester

Voting station at a Worcester-based old age home

The IEC says it will investigate allegations by officials that they were harassed by members of a political party accusing them of working with the DA.

Nik Wullschleger, a ward candidate for Breedevallei Onafhanklik (BO) in Worcester, says they filed a three-page long complaint with the IEC, stating various objections to the way in which special votes were conducted on Tuesday.

Nik claims he saw DA members accompanying Independent Electoral Commission officials into voting stations set up at old age homes in Worcester.

“A DA party agent was with the IEC officials, we saw no other party agents with them,” adds Nik.

But Western Cape Electoral Commissioner Courtney Sampson says a representative from each political party is allowed inside a voting station.

“Two party agents from each political organisation is allowed inside to ensure transparency of the electoral processes.

“Only the DA had agents there. It would mean serious problems if no other party agents were allowed in,” he explains.

But Anwar Ismail, a former MP living in Worcester, says the problems with the IEC and DA didn’t stop there.

He claims he saw an IEC official jump into a car with a DA member to return to a house where she allegedly forgot to ink the voter’s nail.

“She gave the ballot box to a cop. No person, not even a police official, is allowed to keep a ballot box,” says Ismail angrily.

“These IEC officials should be removed. They are not qualified to lead the elections.

“They should be locked up for this because they are shooting free and democratic elections in the foot by doing this,” he states.

But Sampson says they have confidence in their staff’s abilities and doubts that the IEC official in charge of the Worcester voting district would have allowed anything irregular to happen.

He revealed that the IEC also received complaints from their staff about being harassed by a local party in Worcester.

“We will follow the complaints up,” he adds.

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