Electoral Commission fires staff member over leaked candidates list

The Electoral Commission has terminated the employment of one of its staff members after they were found to have leaked party candidate lists.

“Following a preliminary investigation into the allegations, the Electoral Commission can confirm that the involved employee’s contract of employment has been terminated,” the commission said in a statement on Tuesday.

Inquiry on unauthorised circulation of candidates list

This comes after the commission on Monday announced that it had set up an inquiry to establish the circumstances of the unauthorised circulation of  party candidate lists and the person or persons responsible.

On Saturday, the commission reported that it had become aware of lists of candidates that were being circulated on social media platforms.

At a briefing on Monday, the commission said the investigation narrowed the source of the disclosure to a particular workstation. The said station had been used to generate and store reports.

Culprit work station identified

Later, the said reports were deleted from the workstation.

Earlier on Monday, the workstation was secured and imaged in the presence of the staff member whose credentials were used to generate the reports. A forensic analysis of the computer was also done.

READ | Inquiry into unauthorised circulation of party lists

“The official had rights to access the system and reports but was not authorised to distribute or circulate the information. The official is from one of the local offices of the commission,” the commission said on Tuesday.

Motive still unknown

It further added that the motive for the unauthorised circulation will be pursued as part of the ongoing investigation.

“While this incident is regrettable, our actions demonstrate our commitment to transparency and accountability. The Electoral Commission maintains the highest level of integrity, ethics, and professionalism. Any behaviour that violates our code of conduct  cannot be tolerated. Also behaviour that or undermines the credibility of the organisation,” said Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo.

The commission further  reiterated its commitment and readiness to deliver a credible 2024 national and provincial elections.

South Africans are set to go to the polls on May 29.

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