Russia ‘not interfering or involved’ in SA polling

Vice Chairperson Janet Love during a press briefing at the IEC ROC, 9 May 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Vice Chairperson Janet Love during a press briefing at the IEC ROC, 9 May 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The IEC was aware that electronic voting systems often had high levels of interference by various forces, but that had not happened in South Africa.

Although there were numerous problems surrounding the 2019 elections, none of them could be attributed to foreign interference in the country’s electoral process or an attack on its democracy.

IEC vice-chairperson Janet Love dismissed any claim that Russia may have tried to interfere with the current election.

She said they were aware that electronic voting systems often had high levels of interference by various forces, but that had not happened in South Africa.

“We have no evidence of the Russians interfering or involved in an assault on our democracy. However, we do not say it is impossible to happen, but it has not happened here,” Love said.

She said they had been exploring the use of electronic or digital voting systems in conjunction with their counterparts in other countries with a view to implementing that in SA.

“We are working with our colleagues around the world to investigate how we can use this system of voting in our country.”

The debate around the need to apply the electronic system arose after the current election process experienced numerous challenges, including double voting by some voters, and removable indelible ink used to mark the thumbs of voters who already had cast their ballot.

Numerous IEC officials were also fired by the commission for breaching the IEC rules at voting stations and instances of shortages of ballot papers in some stations countrywide.

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