The final national numbers have all come in. You can read that report here.
The ANC has managed to just cling to an outright majority in Gauteng with 50.19%.
The DA will once again be the official opposition, with the EFF improving its share of the vote to take third.
The IEC has sent out an advisory to announce that elections will be announced this evening at 6pm-7pm.
The commission says it will not accede to the deadline of 27 parties who have taken legal action against the commission over what they say are irregularities in the voting process, deeming it “not fair and free”. The parties demanded an independent auditor to be appointed by 11am.
This has not happened, with the IEC saying this is not a statutory requirement in law. The IEC’s chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, said on Saturday that even if a few people had engaged in criminal conduct to vote or attempt to vote more than once, that would not have been enough to truly influence the results on a “great scale” and would not have “impugned” the “integrity of the results”.
They would oppose any urgent interdict application, Mamabolo said.
“The commission is disappointed by the conduct of some parties which have breached the Code of Conduct and disrupted the orderly operations within the National Results Centre,” said the IEC’s statement.
Earlier yesterday commissioner Nomsa Masuku said the parties could take any action they wished after they promised legal action.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which was part of the observer missions, had also said the concerns were not substantial enough, but if the parties felt strongly about the concerns, they could raise them with the courts.
The IEC said they would receive a list of 1,020 voting stations from the Statistician-General “which will form the sample for an independent technical assurance process that looks at the voting”.
The IEC also received questions on the arrests made for alleged double voting, as deputy police commissioner Fannie Masemola said the people that were arrested had not voted but had attempted to.
He said “there are other people on social media still claiming to have voted more than once, we are still looking for them”.
“We are pleading with you to assist us in identifying them so that we can have more work with them.”
Commissioner Janet Love said “in the electoral act it is a crime to attempt to vote more than once.”
“We have received info from people and parties about people identified for having done that.
Love said the mere attempt to have done so, whether you succeeded in doing so or not, was punishable.
“The Electoral Commission would like to thank the South African Police Services for the rapid way in which they have acted against voters alleged to have voted twice or attempted to vote more than once.”
Count almost done
Meanwhile, it is clear the ANC has won the national majority vote with most of the total number of ballots cast, taking 57.5%. While they are significantly down from the 62.15% they won in the last election, it is a solid majority and a strong mandate for Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidency.
The ANC also just crept over the 10 million votes mark on Saturday morning.
The party was followed in the results by the DA, which dropped, and the EFF, who grew significantly from last election’s 6.35% to grab nearly 11% of the national vote. The IFP, which gained about 3.38% of the vote, jumped from the 2.4% it gained in 2014.
With most of the votes counted in Gauteng, the ANC looks poised to just have enough for a majority win. The ANC also won all the provinces except the Western Cape, where it is the opposition again. The DA retained its Western Cape majority, and is the opposition again in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng, while the EFF is the opposition in Limpopo and North West yet again, while taking that role from the DA in Mpumalanga.
The IFP has regained its status as the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal, snatching it from the DA.
The election has seen both of South Africa’s largest parties losing ground to smaller, more established parties, with numerous new parties making little to no impact on the national mindset. All of the EFF, IFP, FF+ and ACDP saw gains as some disenfranchised voters chose to cast their votes away from the previous favourites.
The election can also be considered a good one for The African Transformation Movement (ATM) and Patricia De Lille’s newly established GOOD party, who each secured enough votes for seats in parliament.
The Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has written to protesting political parties for breaching the code of conduct after they launched a protest at the national operations centre over grievances over electoral processes.
The commission briefed media on developments in vote counting on Friday evening.
“The commission is disappointed by the conduct of some parties which have breached the Code of Conduct and disrupted the orderly operations within the National Results Centre,” IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo said.
More than 30 smaller political parties on Thursday raised their objections with the IEC over alleged electoral irregularities in Wednesday’s general election, citing certain instances of double voting at voting stations. They threatened to interdict the election and its results if the IEC does not appoint an independent auditor by 11am on Saturday.
IEC Commissioner Janet Love said the matter has since been handed over to lawyers and was sub judice.
At least 97,33 percent of votes had been counted late Friday. Mamabolo said the outstanding 779 outstanding voting stations could finish by midnight. At least 433 of the outstanding voting stations are in Gauteng.
”We will work through the night today and make sure we do not go to bed without concluding the process. This has been a mammoth responsibility, however it gives us pleasure as the commission that we are about to conclude what the constitution demands from us,” Mamabolo said.
On arrests linked to voting irregularities, police deputy commissioner Fannie Masemola said 22 people were arrested for attempting to vote twice. They included two brothers in Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal who, although they still had indelible ink on their thumbs, demanded that they be allowed to vote again. Police were called in and they were arrested.
“It is important to note that all had not voted a second time, they attempted to do so and were discovered and arrested,” Masemola said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to arrive at the results centre at 6pm on Saturday.
Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said at a media briefing at the IEC results centre in Pretoria that Gauteng still has 433 voting districts to conclude, but that counting is expected to be finished at midnight.
A group of 25 disgruntled smaller parties have threatened to interdict the election and its results if the IEC does not appoint an independent auditor by 11am on Saturday.
The final results are meant to be announced tomorrow, but the group plans to interdict them if necessary.
As many as 35 parties have expressed their unhappiness with the electoral process.
The police have announced that a total of 24 people have now been arrested in the so-called double voting scandal that has plagued these elections.
The voting count is now heading towards being 95% complete.
A video showing two people, a journalist and a woman, were arrested after footage was posted claiming they had cast votes more than once, the police statement says.
“On the day of the elections, Etienne Mare (52) posted a video claiming that he was on his way to vote for a second time after hearing from Malinda Halloway (57) that she had been ‘able to do so herself’.
“The Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (JOINTS), in a statement yesterday, promised that all of the social media postings in which people claimed to have voted more than once will be investigated and culprits brought to book,” said spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.
“Today, members for the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga were able to track down the suspects and arrested them. Both Mare and Halloway appeared in the Barberton Magistrates Court today on charges of contravening Section 88 (d) Voting more than once, Section 89 (i)(a) Intentional making a false statement, alt fraud and Section 90(2)(a) Infringement of secrecy.
“The arrest of these two suspects brings the total to 24 the number of suspects arrested for the alleged contravention of Electrate Act pertaining to attempted double votes and double votes. These 24 include 17 from Danhauser, 2 from Hluhluwe, one from Izingolweni, one from Sawoti one from Douglasdale and now the two from Barberton.”
They said alleged “double votes” were still under investigation by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
“We request anyone with information on such contrventions to contact our Crime Stop number 08600 10111. Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated with strictest confidence.”
The African National Congress on Friday afternoon cleared the 50 percent mark in Gauteng with voting still incomplete but looked to have a clear majority within their reach in the country’s economic heartland.
The party was lying at 50.57 percent in Gauteng late on Friday afternoon.
The governing party received 1,571,329 votes with 75.39 percent of votes counted in the province. ANC was followed by the Democratic Alliance at 27.32 percent and the Economic Freedom Fighters at 14.34 percent.
The Freedom Front Plus has made further inroads into the hotly contested economic hub, garnering 112,781 votes and taking the fourth place spot after the EFF. In the 2014 elections, the FF Plus received 58,122 votes or 1.27 percent of votes in the province.
Counting has been completed in Mpumalanga, where the ANC won decisively with 70.58% of the vote.
The EFF is now the party’s official opposition with 12.79% of the vote, while the DA has descended to third place with 9.77%.
Over 90% of the results in the 2019 elections are now in, with the ANC at 57.41% nationally, followed by the DA at 20.98% and the EFF at 10.37%.
In Gauteng, the ANC has regained their 50% majority, following their share of the vote dropping below this mark earlier today. The DA has attained 27.84% in the province at this point with the EFF on 14.28%.
Though the official results will only be announced by the Independent Electoral Commission on Saturday, preliminary announcements indicate that the Democratic Alliance has retained the Western Cape.
The provincial election board for the Western Cape had the DA at 55%, followed by the ANC at 28,5% and the EFF at 4%.
The ANC, meanwhile, has taken both the North West and the Northern Cape.
In the North West they achieved 61.87% of the vote, with the EFF in at second with 18.64% and the DA at third with 11.18%.
In the Northern Cape they achieved 57.54%, with the DA second at 25.51% and the EFF third with 9.71%.
ANC secretary General Ace Magashule has told journalist Clement Manyathela party president Cyril Ramaphosa can’t take credit for the party’s win. When asked if he agreed with people that Ramaphosa helped the party, his response was: “He is not candidate premier, it’s not about individual, it’s about ANC.”
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has declared the 2019 South African Elections all clear.
This follows the SADC alongside the African Union (AU) releasing their preliminary reports after observing the elections.
A representative of the observer mission said the elections went well, apart from some logistical challenges in certain voting stations.
Officials representing countries including Angola, Mozambique, Botswana and Lesotho have acted as observers in the elections.
On Wednesday, they voiced concerns about the low voter turnout at this year’s polls, particularly among the youth.
Representatives of 35 parties, meanwhile, have reportedly stormed out of a separate meeting held by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in which they were reporting back on their audit of votes following accusations that some South Africans were able to vote more than once.
The ANC has dropped below 50% in Gauteng as counting of the votes enters its final phase.
The ruling party currently sits at 49.61%, with the DA at 28.36 percent and the EFF at 13.9%. FF+, with 3.91%, is currently the fourth biggest party in the province.
Over 80% of the votes have now been counted.
Vote counting in Gauteng, however, has not yet reached the 60% mark. It is important to note that votes in parts of Gauteng known as ANC strongholds, including parts of Soweto, have not yet been counted.
Nationally, the ANC has slipped just below the 57% mark it reached earlier, and currently sits at 56.98%.
The DA currently has 21.79% nationally, with the EFF sitting at 10.10%.
The IFP with 3.19% is currently fourth, with the FF+ at fifth with 2.47%.
In the Western Cape, the DA sits at 55.38%, with the ANC at 28.70% and the EFF at 4.01%.
Patricia De Lille’s Good, contesting elections for the first time, is currently at fourth place in the province with 3% of the vote.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC has 53.22%, with the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in second place at 17.42% and the DA in third with 14.53%. The EFF, with 9%, is currently fourth.
Despite a raft of complaints, the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said on Friday morning that it could find “no evidence” that anyone has voted twice in this year’s elections.
The IEC’s commissioner was discussing the results of their investigation in the midst of an audit, which was requested by, among others, the DA.
This comes despite numerous accounts from individuals claiming to have done exactly that and 20 people being arrested in KwaZulu-Natal for attempting to do it, but didn’t succeed.
The main culprits blamed for it was the easy removability of the IEC’s ink and ticket scanning machines not being centrally linked.
The EFF’s Dali Mpofu appeared to admit he knew of voters who had voted more than once, while a Cope MP was able to get five voter tickets at different stations.
With over three-quarters of the votes in the 2019 elections counted and released by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) at 8am on Friday it was clear that the ANC had suffered a significant drop in support compared with five years ago, while the Democratic Alliance has also lost some vote share.
The ANC got above 62% in 2014 and was now just above 57%, while the DA dropped below the more than 22% peak they enjoyed in the previous general elections.
Of the big three, only the EFF has shown significant growth in this election, placing them above a 10% share now that the bigger voting districts’ results are coming in.
The IFP have had a late surge in the results, passing the Freedom Front Plus to take up the fourth position nationally. It was also neck and neck between them and the DA to see who would be the opposition in KwaZulu-Natal.
The DA has retained power in the Western Cape, albeit with a smaller majority.
The EFF has comfortably remained the opposition in North West and Limpopo, while also being on course to take that title from the DA in Mpumalanga.
The voting share of the ANC in Gauteng looks slightly down, but it was not the two-horse race some analysts predicted, with the DA in a very distant second.
It was announced at a press briefing yesterday that the commission had undertaken to release 90% of the results by 10pm on Thursday, but this proved to be overly ambitious.
A number of people have been arrested for voting twice, or attempting to, with 20 people already taken into custody in KwaZulu-Natal alone and facing possible charges of fraud. The SA Police Service has said some of the suspects had merely “attempted” to vote twice.
A grouping of smaller parties have called this election a sham and want South Africans to vote again.
The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has assured South Africans that the general election results have not been compromised after two instances of double voting were reported to IEC’s Results Operation Centre in Tshwane yesterday.
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said the commission assured voters and all stakeholders of the overall integrity of the electoral process.
“Fortunately the election process contains a number of checks and safeguards which together serve to protect the integrity of the process,” said Bapela.
These security layers included, among others, the voters’ roll which only allows registered voters to vote and only allows for a single registration per voter; the requirement for voters to produce a valid ID document before they vote; the scanning of IDs prior to voting; and the marking of a voter’s thumb with ink.
“All of these leave a detailed footprint of voter participation in the process and can be used both separately and in combination to identify instances of electoral fraud,” she said.
Bapela said as part of the process of finalising the election results, the commission would assess information from the scanners, VEC 4 forms (used when a voter votes outside their voting district), and the voters’ roll to identify potential risks.
She said where evidence was found to support electoral fraud, the IEC would firstly quarantine the results of the affected voting districts and, secondly, would pursue criminal charges against the perpetrators.
“The electoral process also allows for objections to be raised by political parties throughout the process,” added Bapela. “This includes instances where they believe a voter was ineligible to vote or has voted more than once.”
She said the IEC would like to appeal to any party or person who may have evidence of any electoral fraud or significant irregularity to report this immediately so that it can be thoroughly investigated.
“The Electoral Commission of South Africa will not allow the potential misconduct of one or two individuals, be they voters or election officials, to taint the overall outcome of these elections,” said Bapela.
She said the integrity of results was paramount to the credibility of all elections and that all election results were only finally captured and displayed in the results system where the commission is satisfied in the integrity of those results. (Contributor: Gcina Ntsaluba)
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will undertake an urgent audit in order to ascertain where double votes may have taken place.
This was announced during a press briefing at the Tshwane results operation centre (ROC) on the first day after voting.
May 8 was inundated with reports of irregularities, particularly the easily removable “indelible ink” that has been used as a safeguard over the years to prevent voters from voting more than once.
“The purpose of the audit is to determine the extent of the phenomenon,” explained chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo.
According to the IEC, VEC4 forms and zip zip scanners in most districts have been returned to head office to assist with the audit process.
Mamabolo assured the public that additional resources would be deployed to audit the VEC4 forms and zip zip data in order to pick up all the duplicates.
The IEC has not yet identified which audit firm they would be partnering with for this undertaking.
An additional investigation would also be done into the ink pens provided, in conjunction with the CSIR.
The IEC said the pens were procured through an open tender process and the tender to provide the pens was awarded to a company called Litotec.
It was also revealed that in recent years there had been a change in the chemical concentration of the chemicals used in the pens. The silver nitrate concentration was increased from 15% to 20%, and this may have affected the performance of the ink.
Twenty voters in KwaZulu-Natal have been arrested for double voting and were tracked down using the system’s information, according to the IEC.
The body says it will only announce results in locations where they are completely confident that the results are correct.
The briefing can be watched live here, courtesy of the SABC:
The battle for the two key provinces that both the DA and ANC expressed a huge desire to win ahead of elections appears headed for a retention of the status quo, with the ANC hanging on to its majority in the results in Gauteng and the DA doing so for the Western Cape.
The EFF has seen some growth in both provinces, but is particularly making a showing in Mpumalanga, where the Red Berets may replace the DA as the official opposition to the ANC.
By 11.10am on Thursday, South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) seemed destined to retain its majority hold on the National Assembly after voting tallies at about a third of voting districts in the country had been captured on the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) results system.
The Freedom Front Plus are surprise contenders in the top-five race, having obtained more than 135,000 votes so far, but this could change as the counting and capturing process for two-thirds of voting districts was not yet complete. The party would nevertheless feel highly encouraged by the fact that it has grown from less than 1 percent to above 3 percent of the share during counting.
Analysts are already saying that the FF+ is likely picking up its votes from former Afrikaner DA voters who feel disaffected with the DA’s more racially progressive policies.
The votes counted and captured stood at nearly 4.35 million, with the ANC obtaining about 55 percent of the vote, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) with just under 26 percent. If the trend continues throughout the day, this would mean the ANC would see its significant majority reduced and support for the DA increasing by a few percentage points from 22 percent of the vote in the 2014 polls to over 26 percent.
Early indications are that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will see an increase in its support from the six percent it obtained in 2014, with currently more than 8.6% of the vote.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) had around 73,000 votes, bearing in mind very few results from the KwaZulu-Natal province, its stronghold, had been captured on the results board.
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) had about 47,000 votes cast in their favour.
New Kid on the block GOOD, formed by former DA mayor Patrica De Lille, was seventh on the board with about 31,000 votes.
Early counting placed the militant Black First Land First (BLF) in the far distance with less than 3,000 votes of the ballots counted so far. Early votes generally always come in from the smaller voting stations first, which tend to be mainly in rural areas.
BLF Spokesperson Lindsay Maasdorp told eNCA that they still felt confident about going to parliament because most votes had not yet been counted in their “strongholds”, especially Gauteng. They would need about 40,000 more votes to guarantee that.
Their nemesis, the Freedom Front Plus, were faring far better in initial tallies.
The DA has lodged 60 official objections and 2,500 complaints against the results, eNCA reports. These will be taken up with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) at around 10am when they meet at the national party liaison board meeting. Objections are far more serious than complaints.
They also want a full audit of all the results.
Other parties will also be lodging similar complaints, with Cope MP Deidre Carter claiming to have evidence of how easy it would have been for her to vote multiple times.
By 9am Thursday, South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) seemed destined to retain its majority hold on the National Assembly after voting tallies at a quarter of voting districts in the country had been captured on the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) results system.
The votes counted and captured stood at around three million, with the ANC obtaining 55 percent of the vote, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 26 percent. If the trend continues throughout the day, this would mean the ANC would see its significant majority reduced and support for the DA increasing by a few percentage points from 22 percent of the vote in the 2014 polls to over 26 percent.
Early indications are that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) might see an increase in its support from the six percent it obtained in 2014.
The Freedom Front Plus are surprise contenders in the top five race, having obtained 101,492 votes so far, but this could change as the counting and capturing process for around 75 percent of voting districts was not yet complete.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) had around 50,000 votes, bearing in mind very few results from the KwaZulu-Natal province, its stronghold, had been captured on the results board.
With just under 10% of the vote counted in Gauteng, South Africa’s economic heartland and one of the expected battleground provinces, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) was also leading with over 120,000 votes, or just over 53% of the vote counted.
By 6:30am on Thursday, the main challengers, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had tallied just under 60,000 and just over 30,000 votes, respectively.
The next best party was the Freedom Front Plus with just under 10,000 votes, while the rest trailed in even further behind with less than a percent of the vote each.
Gauteng is SA’s richest province, contributing over a third of the national gross domestic product while it is also the most populous, home to a staggering 14 million people.
With less than a quarter of votes counted in South Africa’s border provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, the ANC was also leading the pack of political parties seeking seats in these provincial legislatures.
Early results captured on the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) system, show the ANC leading in Mpumalanga where around 20 percent of votes cast had been counted. By 7am, the ruling party was leading with 186,453 votes, followed by the Democratic Alliance with 25,603 and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) wih 22,708.
Limpopo appeared to follow 2014 voting trends, with the ANC leading with 62,703 votes, followed by the EFF, which replaced the DA as the official opposition in that province in the 2014 poll.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) looks to be regaining lost ground in its stronghold province of KwaZulu-Natal where early election results show it putting in a strong showing behind the ANC.
By 7am on Wednesday, with just over 150,000 votes counted, the ANC was leading with just under 80,000 votes, followed by the IFP on 32,700 and the DA with 18,000.
The DA is the official opposition in the province but a resurgent IFP is putting up a solid push for the title of official opposition which it lost to the DA in the 2014 general election.
In neighbouring Eastern Cape, with 443,000 votes counted, the ANC was leading with 307,000, followed by the DA with 78,000 and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with just under 30,000.
The ANC is the governing party in the province but in the 2016 local government elections saw a coalition of the DA and EFF take control of Nelson Mandela Bay, which includes Port Elizabeth, before that coalition collapsed amid acrimony.
A three-party dominance also emerged in the provinces of the Free State, North West and Northern Cape.
By 07h30, the ANC was ahead in all three provinces, capturing 64,493 votes in the Free State, 103,023 in North West and 99,660 in the Northern Cape.
However, less than a third of the votes had been counted and captured on the IEC dashboard in the Free State and North West, while the process was almost two-thirds complete in the Northern Cape – South Africa’s largest province, known for also having the country’s smallest population.
If the trend continues, the EFF will remain the official opposition in North West after obtaining around 26,604 votes thus far.
With vote counting and capturing at an advanced stage in the Northern Cape, the DA had obtained around a third of the vote compared to the just over 50 percent of the vote having gone to the ANC.
In a statement at 11.30pm, IEC commissioner Mosotho Moepya said the Electoral Commission “would like to assure South Africa and all voters of the overall integrity of the electoral process” … “in the light of allegations of two separate instances of double voting”.
The alleged instances of the same individuals voting at different voting stations had been brought to the IEC’s attention over the past few hours.
Moepya, however, said the IEC’s checks and safeguards together served to protect the integrity of the vote.
He named the voters’ roll, the requirement of a valid ID being scanned, the marking of voters’ thumbs with indelible ink, the signing of sworn statements by voters at stations where they were not registered, the presence of party agents monitoring activities at voting stations, the existence of exception reports and the fact that the results and data around them would be captured indefinitely to identify instances of electoral fraud.
Moepya said data from scanners would be assessed along with analysis of voters’ rolls. Where fraud could be detected, results from affected wards would be quarantined and criminal charges would be pursued against perpetrators, “who will be very well known to us. They have left footprints, and will be pursued.”
He said objections could be raised by political parties throughout the process, including ineligibility on the part of any voter to vote, double voting or any other irregularity. They called for all suspected cases to be registered for investigation.
No voter would be allowed to place the overall integrity of the elections in doubt, said Moepya.
Critics have pointed out that many of the IEC’s safeguards – including the ink being easily removable from thumbs, scanners being broken and not linked to a central system, voters’ rolls being printed only for each voting station and stickers no longer being placed in ID books because ID cards cannot receive them – appeared to have either broken down or shown serious vulnerabilities.
They have also pointed out that instances of double voting more than likely went beyond just two separate instances.
Moepya conceded that it was possible the problem was real, but the IEC would fully investigate and take appropriate action. He said everything would be transparent.
“We will share them with you. And we will know what happened.”
The “critical process” of counting votes had begun in earnest in South Africa after voting stations closed their doors at 9pm, the country’s elections body said on Wednesday night, with the first results being delivered.
The first election results in the Eastern Cape came out at a voting station where only 21 ballots were cast.
In a statement, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said in most areas voting progressed smoothly “despite isolated incidents where voting operations were adversely affected by inclement weather, community unrest, power outages and some logistical challenges”.
Inclement weather conditions affected temporary voting stations in the Free State and the Eastern Cape.
“Strong thunderstorms were reported in the early evening in the Free State where 16 temporary voting stations in Mangaung were blown down by strong winds and where heavy rain affected the conditions underfoot,” the statement said.
“In Nelson Mandela Bay and Craddock in the Eastern Cape heavy rain and winds also affected operations in more than 30 temporary voting stations.”
Power cuts, which have become more commonplace in the country as Eskom grapples with financial and operational woes, plunged several voting stations in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng into darkness with candles being lit to guide voters.
“The Electoral Commission has been working closely with Eskom and local municipalities to rapidly restore power in affected areas.”
Explaining the process after voting stations closed its doors, the IEC said that electoral staff would check the seals and open ballot boxes whereafter the ballots are reconciled with those issued.
“Once the reconciliation is completed, the marked ballots are sorted into piles according to the party voted for. For ease of counting, the ballots are grouped together in batches of tens and hundreds,” the IEC said.
“The ballots for each party are counted and recounted to ensure accuracy and the results captured on two duplicate results slips which reflect the voting station, the number of cast ballots, the number of votes for each party and the number of spoiled ballots.”
The process is observed by party agents who then sign the results slips which are posted on the door of the voting station.
“One result slip is then posted on the door of the voting station while the other is taken by the Presiding Officer to the local IEC office where it is scanned and the data entered into the results system using a double capture system to minimise any human error.”
“Once audited by independent auditors, the results are released and are simultaneously visible to all those with access to the results system – including Electoral Commission, political parties, observers and the media. Parties can verify the captured results against their copy of the original results slip to ensure accuracy.”
The IEC expected the first results from voting districts with smaller numbers of voters to be reflected on the commission’s results system before midnight on Wednesday.
Results from other larger voting districts are expected from Thursday onward.
Voting stations closed their doors at 9pm on Wednesday, though voters who were still waiting to vote and had arrived before the cut-off time were still allowed to cast their ballots.
The process of counting the ballots began in several voting districts.
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela confirmed on Wednesday night that the first results were expected from about 11pm, with the smaller stations normally reporting results first.
She told IOL: “At 9pm when our voting stations close our officials and political parties will take a two-minute break and then they begin the sorting and the counting. After they have done the sorting and the counting, historically the first station that posts the results comes somewhere between 11pm and midnight.”
Results only really started streaming in from around 3am on Thursday from other smaller voting stations, with the next morning at 11am usually the time when bigger data streams from other stations began to flood in.
The IEC is expected to announce the final results on Saturday, with political parties given until Friday to lodge objections.
You will be able to follow the results data as they are announced by the IEC by accessing The Citizen’s results page here.
There was no last-minute rush in Lethabong, north-east of Rustenburg in North West, on Wednesday night as polling stations closed.
At Noka ya Lerato Primary School, voting station, electoral officers closed the station at exactly 21:00, with no more voters waiting to vote.
African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members sang and danced opposite each other outside the voting station, confident that their parties had received the most votes.
Counting of votes started once the voting station was closed.
Voting in the area got off to a slow start on Wednesday, with the number of people voting reckoned to be lower than what was the case previously.
A party agent said at one voting station in Lethabong over 1,000 registered voters did not turn to vote.
“There is only one polling station where the number is good. At Lethabong Community Creche about 300 people did not turn up to vote, this is the only station recording a better turn up,” said the party agent who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak. – African News Agency (ANA)
As voting cutoff time drew closer on election day, government urged citizens who were yet to vote to go and cast their votes at polling stations.
Voting got off fairly well early Wednesday although unrest in protesting communities in provinces such as Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and North West caused glitches. Government said the department of home affairs’ offices would be open until 9pm to help those without identity documents.
”We are pleased that millions of South Africans have heeded the call to vote, and have conducted themselves in an orderly and respectful manner. Our message to those who have not yet voted is that your country needs you to stand up and vote. Your vote matters and can make a difference as we work together to build a better tomorrow. Home Affairs offices across the country have been open since 7am to assist the public with enabling documents so that they can exercise their democratic right to vote. These offices will remain open until 9 pm in line with the voting hours declared by the IEC,” government said in a statement.
As Wednesday progressed, some voting stations ran out of ballot papers and, by 5pm, at least five polling stations had not opened. The Cape Town polling stations were the most affected by ballot paper shortages. Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) deputy chief electoral officer Masego Shiburi said the ballot paper shortage problem was being addressed.
”In Cape Town, this problem was caused by officials distributing less ballots than what the stations were entitled to. We have issued an instruction once more for ballot papers to be provided to all stations experiencing shortages…there will be no shortage of voting material including ballot papers. Around 62 million ballot papers were printed by the IEC,” Shiburi told reporters at the national elections results centre in Pretoria.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday night also urged citizens to take advantage of the remaining hours to cast their ballots in the country’s general election.
Not voting was akin to betraying those who had fought for the democracy of South Africa, said provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli.
“Failure to exercise your democratic right to vote – while it is a choice in the constitution – is tantamount to the betrayal of all the martyrs who put aside their own personal interests and were murdered, maimed, tortured and persecuted in various other ways – just for demanding the right of all citizens to exercise their vote,” he said.
The right to vote was a “coveted prize” that allowed citizens to determine the destiny of the country, said Ntuli.
“This right cannot be easily forfeited for it was attained through supreme sacrifice and in difficult and painful circumstances.”
“By voting, citizens are putting [their] shoulders to the wheel and joining millions of South Africans who are committed and working hard to help the country to realise its immense socio-economic potential.
“Once again, the ANC is pleading with all the people of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africans at large not to get left behind, but rather join hands with the ANC and move the country forward,” said Ntuli.
KwaZulu-Natal has 5,521,951 registered voters, and, in keeping with the national trend, the majority are female.
Also in line with the national trend, the lowest number of registered voters are in the 18- to 19-year-old category.
Polls are set to close at 9pm. – African News Agency (ANA)
By 5pm on voting day, five voting stations in South Africa had still not opened to voters. The IEC said that they were working to get them opened and would not turn away voters still trying to vote there as long as they had been there since before 9pm when all voting stations are meant to close (ie, not allow anyone else to join the queues).
Two were in the Eastern Cape – Buffalo City and Ntabankulu. Three were in KZN, all in the Inkosi Langalibalele municipality in the uThukela District (Escort).
The IEC chalked it up to community unrest that security agencies, government representatives and the electoral commission had not been able to resolve.
“Efforts to resolve these and provide voters in these areas with an opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote are continuing and will continue for as long as is necessary,” said the IEC in a statement.
Four voting stations in Vuwani, Limpopo, which had earlier opened were also forced to close for a period during the course of the day due to unrest and safety concerns. However, these had all now reopened, according to the IEC.
“The Electoral Commission is saddened by the lack of respect for democracy and the rights of others in these limited areas and once again calls on these communities to put the national interest of the country above the narrow interest of the community at least for today,” added the commission.
The commission also confirmed there had been instances of voters trying to vote more than once after removing the ink on their thumb nails, and said they would be prosecuted.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Sy Mamabolo made the warning at the national results operations centre in Pretoria, after journalists asked him about claims of people removing the ink from their fingernails and voting again in the ongoing sixth general elections.
The UDM was confirmed to be one party that had complained about the ink problem, along with the EFF.
“If there are people who are attempting to double vote, then it’s a fraudulent activity. It’s one which the Commission will not countenance. If there is evidence of anyone attempting, or having factually voted twice we would want details of those people so that we institute prosecutions against them,” said Mamabolo.
“We can never allow a situation where people are allowed to vote twice.”
They further said that some voting stations had been overwhelmed by demand from people trying to vote there when they were not registered in that ward, and it had therefore been difficult to plan the amount of voting materials that would have been required.
“The Electoral Commission remains highly satisfied and encouraged with voting progress throughout the day and throughout the country,” the IEC’s deputy chief executive Masego Shiburi told journalists at the national results operations centre in Pretoria.
“However, there have been some setbacks including those caused by ongoing community unrest in isolated areas which have affected election operations,” Shiburi said.
“Four voting stations in Vuwani, Limpopo which had earlier opened were also forced to close for a period during the course of the day due to unrest and safety concerns. However, these have now all reopened,” Shiburi said.
“The IEC is saddened by the lack of respect for democracy and the rights of others in these limited areas and once again calls on these communities to put the national interests of the country above narrow interests of the community at least for today.”
Two elderly voters have now reportedly died of natural causes on Wednesday at voting stations in Gauteng.
Gauteng ANC secretary Jacob Khawe announced the death of an elderly voter at the Maqingwana voting station in Emfuleni in the Vaal, while the other death was in Tshwane.
The Vaal fraternity was saddened by the passing of a 79-year-old woman during elections at Mqiniswa Primary School in Bophelong today.
It is reported that paramedics were called to the scene and declared gogo dead after she had fainted.
Party agents who saw gogo on her arrival at the voting station said that she seemed very happy to cast her vote. “It is very unfortunate that gogo died before she could vote.” They said.
In the Eastern Cape, an IEC staff member was injured after being involved in an accident. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported.
[HAPPENING NOW] #SAElections2019 The @IECSouthAfrica is holding a briefing. An elderly voter reportedly died of natural causes in Tshwane and a vehicle accident involving staff occurred in the Eastern Cape. No serious injuries reported, says Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo.
— Erin Bates (@ermbates) May 8, 2019
President Cyril Ramaphosa voted in Chiawelo, Soweto, and said he was humbled by the number of people who also came out to exercise their democratic right.
“I am truly humbled by the turnout that I’m seeing here and the excitement that one can feel. There is a great vibe and it’s a vibe for democracy. It’s a vibe also for our democratic system that we’ve been building over the past 25 years. 25 years later we still have a nation that is brimming with confidence and excitement by casting their vote,” said the president.
The SABC has reported that one of the pro-Makhado task team leaders was arrested on Tuesday night.
The task team has been demanding that the area be reincorporated into Makhado from the Collins Chabane municipality, and there have been reports claiming that some have chosen not to vote today.
Though police Spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed that an arrest had been made, he, said the man could not, at this point, be linked to the pro-Makhdado task team.
He told the SABC: “I can’t confirm that the person in question is the pro-makhado task team leader, but what I can confirm is that police conducted operations last night and took in one person for intimidation and violation of the electoral act. This person is scheduled to appear at the Vuwani Magistrates’ Court on Friday.”
He said the police were “ready for anything” should the people decide to protest, though he also said he was not anticipating any disruption.
“As the police, we’re in large numbers in this area and the arrest we’re talking about cannot be linked to the pro-Makhado group at this stage but we’re ready for anything in this place, you can see that it’s calm. There are police officers in every voting station and those who are patrolling the area. We really don’t anticipate any problem so far.”
Police have reportedly opened fire on the residents of Holpan, outside Kimberly in the Northern Cape.
This after some residents in the area stopped others from voting, and the police intervened in an attempt to disperse the crowd, eNCA reports.
They reportedly complained that nothing had changed since the dawn of democracy
President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, will on Wednesday cast their votes at Hitekani Primary School, Chiawelo, Soweto, where he spent his early life.
The president also encouraged eligible voters to go out in their numbers to vote.
He said: “As part of our celebration of 25 years of freedom and democracy, this election is an important milestone in our development as a nation and it is our duty as citizens to exercise our hard-won right to determine the direction in which the country moves. Our vote ensures that our democracy remains vibrant and inclusive.”
Former president Kgalema Montlanthe also encouraged people to exercise their right and vote at Killarney Country club, where he will cast his vote.
Video by Tracy-Lee Stark
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane arrived at his voting station in Dobsonville with his parents and family members to vote.
“This is a huge moment for the people of SA, change is coming in this country,” said the DA.
South Africans go to the polls today in what is the most crucial election since the one which brought the country democracy in April 1994.
That ordinary citizens are concerned about the future is echoed in high levels of voter uncertainty, but also in the record number of parties – 48 – which will be on the ballot papers.
That compares with the 29 who registered to fight the previous national election in 2014, and just 19, which were the contestants in the 1994 poll.
In 1994, when Nelson Mandela led the ANC to its first electoral victory, 19 million votes were cast in a stunning voter turnout of just under 88%.
This year, despite the large increase in our population, roughly the same number of voters are expected to make their crosses in a total turnout which will drop to just on 70%, according to forecasts.
Voter apathy – particularly among the youth and people in some rural areas where service delivery has been poor – is a growing feature of our national elections … something which worries all political parties.
Despite 25 years of democracy, there is still a mound of unfinished business in this country – and these issues have been thoroughly hashed over by all parties.
State capture and corruption have led the debate, along with land restitution and job creation, in a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.
The election is critical for the three major parties.
The ANC is expected to win – but how it wins will be important. If its majority is reduced nationally, it may feel the need to move closer to the EFF on the radical side.
Many are wondering whether an emphatic victory will empower President Cyril Ramaphosa to move against his opponents in the Jacob Zuma faction … or whether it will be business as usual.
The EFF is, by all accounts, poised to improve its electoral position – but opinions vary on how well it will do. But what is certain is that it will play an even more influential role after tomorrow.
The DA might fight to hold on to its official position in the face of a strong EFF performance, but the party’s faithful have always been relied upon to come to its aid.