The Economic Freedom Fighters has welcomed the immediate dismissal of a deputy presiding officer who it says was caught trying to rig the elections at a ward in KwaZulu-Natal.
The official tried to mark ballot papers during the special votes in Ward 6 of Endumeni‚ at the Talana Community Hall‚ according to the EFF.
“The mother of the said Deputy Presiding Officer is an ANC candidate‚ standing for elections in the same Ward. The Presiding Officer happened to walk out during the course of the proceedings to access home visits. During this time‚ the conflicted Deputy Presiding Officer was then caught by EFF Party Agent marking multiple ballots (about 7)‚” according to the EFF’s spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
Senior IEC officials were then called and they arrived to take the ballots for investigation.
“The investigation found that indeed the Deputy Presiding Officer had marked the ballot in favour of the ANC candidate‚ who is (his/her) mother.”
The Deputy Presiding Officer has since been dismissed.
The EFF‚ however‚ wants more to be done by the Independent Electoral Commission.
Ndlozi said: “Whilst we welcome the IEC for responding positively‚ it is not enough to simply dismiss a presiding officer who attempted to rig elections in favour of the ruling party. The IEC must … press criminal charges … We must not treat any attempt at rigging elections with sweetheart gloves; the IEC must be firm and send a strong message that it never tolerates misconduct and criminal acts such as attempting to rig elections.”