IEC expresses confidence in its readiness to deliver free, fair elections

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The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it is confident about its readiness to deliver free and fair elections on Wednesday.

In a media briefing at the IEC Results Operations Centre in Pretoria, the Commission has said a number of incidents that were report since the start of the special votes on Monday are not going to characterise the elections.

Some of the problems experienced by the IEC on Monday include the removal of a Deputy Presiding Officer from a voting station in Benoni, Ekurhuleni following an investigation into a video showing a party agent assisting with the transfer of special votes.

The Commission says party agents are not permitted to handle any election material and may only observe and raise objections.

In Limpopo, a pack of three unused and unassembled ballot boxes was found on the side of the road in Tzaneen.

Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo, says, “Investigations showed it was lost in transport by the Area Manager. The person has been suspended pending an internal disciplinary. The ballot boxes were recovered by SAPS and returned to IEC.”

Also in Limpopo, a group of knife-wielding men confronted a group of election officials conducting home visits in Giyani, Limpopo and confiscated 93 unused provincial ballot papers which they destroyed.

Mamabolo says, “Fortunately no one was injured and the seven cast ballots were secured and not affected. The SAPS were quick to respond and two suspects have been arrested and are now in police custody.”