National 13.8.2016 05:16 pm

Discarded KZN ballot box to be investigated

The discarded ballot box. Photo: Zululand Observer

The discarded ballot box. Photo: Zululand Observer

The ballot box was found with completed ballots outside a polling station.

KwaZulu-Natal police are still digging for answers in their investigation into the dumped ballot box that was found filled with completed voter forms in the City of uMhlahtuze’s Ward 1.

The ballot box was discovered on last week in Mzingazi near the Sitholinhlanhla Primary School, one of the voting stations for the ward on election day last Wednesday, Zululand Observer reported.

Ward 1, which encapsulates a large part of Meerensee and Mzingazi, was won by the ANC, but the results are now being contested by the DA and IFP on suspicion of foul play.

Richards Bay police’s Detective Branch Commander, Colonel Zenzele Sosibo, is leading the inquiry.

“We are busy obtaining statements from everyone who worked at the voting station and hope to have enough information to open a case,” said Col Sosibo.

“In the meantime, the evidence will remain in our care,”

DA ward 1 candidate Henning de Wet first reported the matter to the police after receiving a tip-off.

“I immediately reacted and phoned the police, who then arrived, took photos of the scene and sealed everything in evidence bags.

“It is a big concern to me how ballot boxes can be misplaced and dumped without anyone raising questions.

“I condemn the IEC for not noticing the missing box and votes, and not raising questions or even holding the responsible person accountable.’

IFP Secretary of the uMhlathuze Task Team, Ivan Naidoo, demanded votes for the ward be recounted.

‘The votes must be audited and the IEC should ensure votes are stamped when counted in future,” Naidoo said.

IEC uThungulu Regional Supervisor, Thule Dlamini, maintained they cannot take any action while a police investigation was underway.

According to the IEC’s online results for the ward, the ANC came out on top with 49.25% ((3 339 votes), followed by the DA’s 38.45% (2 622 votes) and the IFP with 8.18% (555 votes).

– Caxton News Service

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