Sunday 26 May 2024


The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and the Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK) Party have clashed again after a video showing boxed ballot papers stored in a room at a warehouse in Hammarsdale.

According to the person who filmed the video, which is going viral on social media, the ballot papers and the election material were not secured at a warehouse at Hammarsdale and the person who was in control of the warehouse was “just a person in a yellow T-shirt” - supposedly making a claim they were an African National Congress official.

Ballot papers are supposed to be delivered to voting stations on the day of the elections.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said the videos from Hammarsdale and the Chesterville depots showed their “planned logistical arrangements and storage of election materials as we prepare for the first day of special voting on Monday, 27 May 2024”.

“These are legitimate and authorized arrangements for the distribution of ballot papers and other bulk material.

“The planned security measures were that the trucks distributing ballot papers are escorted by SAPS to the local storage site.

“These storage sites will then be guarded on a 24-hours basis. This arrangement would ensure that the storage sites are protected against unauthorized entry, burglary, and tampering with election materials and ensure detailed control and recording of all items in storage,” said Bapela.

According to the IEC, those who were in the storage facility should have never been allowed in the first place.

IOL reached out to MK Party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela for comment, but he could not be reached on his phone as his phone went straight to voicemail.

Later, Ndhlela said in a statement that the events of Hammarsdale undermined the integrity of electoral processes.

”Notably, members of the MK Party stationed in Mpumalanga Township, Hammarsdale, reported a suspicious truck entering the area on 25 May 2024. This vehicle was loaded with critical voting materials, including approximately 400 ballot boxes and scanners, which are alleged to be intended for ANC members in the area,” said Ndhlela.

“The events points to a systemic problem that not only threatens the democratic fabric of our nation but affirms the MK Party's long-held view that the IEC is partisan towards Cyril Ramaphosa's ANC by allowing the rigging of elections, including in the 2019 elections when Ramaphosa was controversially elected as SA President,” said Ndhlela. IOL


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