27 parties launch legal complaint to halt announcement of election results

Political parties address the media at the IEC in Pretoria.
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The so-called smaller parties who on Thursday called for the rerun of the general elections are not going down without a fight. The block of 27 of the original 35 disgruntled parties have now officially lodged a legal complaint with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and are calling for the independent audit “not affiliated and captured by government” as well as “a rerun of the elections which will be inclusive and well safeguarded.”

Moolman and Pienaar Inc. law firm has served the Commission with the legal complaint on Friday afternoon.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo on Thursday announced the Commission would urgently conduct an audit of the results and votes cast in a sample of voting stations, to establish whether double voting had occurred in some voting stations. This followed reports that some voters had been removing the indelible ink after voting, then returning to vote for the second time.

In a legal document, the block of 27 parties have criticised this audit by the IEC, saying the Commission is conflicted in the matter and should not be trusted to investigate itself.

“These failures amount to an conflict of interest that, in our client’s view, disqualifies the IEC to conduct an audit of its own failures. This must be considered against the background that the IEC had more than ample opportunity to properly prepare for the 2019 General Elections,” reads the document in part.

The parties through a legal firm representing them have given the IEC until 11h00am on Saturday to appoint an independent audit firm to conduct the audit.

“Should the IEC not agree to an independent audit, we hold instructions to approach the Electoral Court for, amongst other things, an order to compel the IEC to appoint an independent audit firm to conduct an audit of the 2019 general elections and to refrain declaring the declaring outcome of the election.”

The complaints raised by the parties are around what they say are irregularities in the election processes which they say have brought into question the integrity of the election results. They include, among others, the issue around the ability to wipe off what is supposed to be an indelible ink, and the scanner machines that did not work at some stations.

By virtue of zip-zip machines not working, they claim the IEC was in no position to determine “whether a voter represented him/herself at the voting station was a registered voter; whether such voter has already cast their vote on the same day at a different voting station; or whether such a person is ordinarily registered in a different province than the province where the vote in fact cast which is not allowed.”

Twenty people have been arrested for the crimes thus far, but the parties say the number is only the tip of an iceberg.

They have also raised complaints that “people were given configurations of ballot paper – sometimes 2 National or 2 Provincial and in the North West there are even reports of people being given 3 ballot papers.”

See the full document below:

Watch ANC National Executive Committee member, Lindiwe Zulu, reacting to the court challenge:

Disgruntled political parties (Text)