Unverified footage sent to The Citizen appears to further muddy the waters about alleged manipulation of the count during the 2019 general election.
In the footage, which you can see below, political party members can be seen arguing with and about what is alleged to be an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) official and an ANC member concerning why apparently sealed boxes have been stacked in the back of someone’s car.
Watch the video (note, you may have to activate audio manually on your device):
The boxes are marked as intended for a voting station at Olievenhoutbosch Christian School in Olievenhoutbosch, a township in Centurion, Gauteng, close to Midrand.
An EFF member demands to know from someone wearing an ANC T-shirt and cap why the boxes are in the car, and he also argues about a further two sealed boxes, which an unidentified man takes with him into the parking lot at the end of the clip. The same man obscures the camera lens of the person shooting the clip (also an EFF member) with his hand, clearly objecting to being filmed.
As the man carries the boxes away, the EFF member shouts at him: “We are allowed to be taking pictures! You are IEC, wena!” He threatens to use the footage to expose what is happening.
Numerous police officers can be seen standing around.
It’s possible the ballot boxes in question were empty and never used due to the unusually low voter turnout in this election.
However, the man accused of being an ANC member was being asked where the ballot boxes came from in the first place, with the argument appearing to centre on why he was allegedly bringing the ballot boxes to their station from Centurion.
They also questioned the “IEC official” on why he appeared to be alone and not with party agents. Confusingly, one person alleges that the boxes are dated 2018, but they are clearly dated 8 May 2019, the day of the election.
The IEC on Saturday evening declared the elections free and fair despite numerous complaints and objections from the vast majority of parties who had contested the polls. At one point this week, even the DA lodged thousands of complaints against the voting process that their party agents had apparently witnessed countrywide.
Ultimately, however, they accepted the results.
The person who provided the footage to The Citizen has speculated that the ANC allegedly tried to keep some votes in areas where opposition parties such as the EFF are popular from being counted, because of how closely contested the fight for the province was projected to be. In the end, the ANC barely crept over the 50% mark, getting just 50.19%, which was enough to claim 37 seats compared with the opposition parties’ 36.
Had this not happened, the opposition could have gone into a complicated and contradictory coalition of mutually very different parties to unseat the ANC. Though an unlikely arrangement, this did occur in 2016 in the metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.
The Citizen asked the SA Police Service for comment on the footage below, which their spokesperson said he was not yet aware of. He undertook to investigate and this article will be updated in due course.
An EFF member page alleged on Friday that they had caught the ANC red-handed trying to rig the election.
Another person who took a photo in Midrand was also confused by a huge stack of sealed ballot boxes stacked up against a wall.