AFP urges electoral commission to probe ballot paper complaint

The African People First (AFP) president, Muzi Hlengwa, has urged the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to investigate the authenticity of ballot papers that were found in a truck that was found with ballot papers and rerouted to the police station.

The truck was found by MK Party members in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.

Hlengwa said these were serious electoral fraud and tampering with ballot papers allegations and raised concerns that the ANC was implicated in these allegations.

“These allegations suggest that millions of ballot papers have been marked in favour of the ANC and that the IEC has failed to ensure the security and integrity of the electoral process,” said Hlengwa.

“If true, this would be a grave violation of the electoral laws and regulations.”

In a letter to the IEC, he said appropriate action should be taken against those involved, ensure safe and secure transportation of ballot papers, and provide a comprehensive report on steps that would be taken to avoid a similar incident from happening.

“If the IEC fails to act, the credibility of these elections will be severely compromised, and they cannot be declared free and fair by any standard,” he said.

“The IEC’s inaction would undermine the democratic process and betray the trust of the people.”

In a statement, the electoral commission said while vote-rigging was a serious matter, the logistics were legitimate and authorised for special voting on Monday.

The commission said it saw through videos that there were individuals who entered the warehouse without authorisation and filmed unauthorised activities, and as such, no party would gain access to the warehouse premises.

“The planned security measures were that the trucks distributing ballot papers were escorted by SA Police Service to the local storage site.

“These storage sites will then be guarded on a 24-hour basis,” said the IEC in a statement.

“This arrangement would ensure that the storage sites are protected against unauthorised entry, burglary, and tempering with election materials and ensure detailed control and recording of all items in storage.”

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