Electoral Commission announces arrests for electoral fraud

Members of the Independent Electoral Commission at a press conference

Members of the Independent Electoral Commission at a press conference

Four people were detained in South Africa for electoral fraud, by multiple vote, in the legislative elections that took place this Wednesday

Sy Mamobolo said, in a press conference at the national center of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in Pretoria that the electoral body intends to file a criminal charge against the voters allegedly involved in electoral fraud but without further details.

"This will have to be determined by a scientific process through the audit that we are performing to ensure the integrity of the process, verify its existence and identify whether it will have a material impact on the final outcome. We are working in coordination with the authorities to ensure the investigation process ends as soon as possible," he said.

"The Commission does not intend to keep the country in suspense but we want the results to be declared with a degree of credibility," Sy Mamolo told reporters.

However, a leader of the IEC in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, quoted by the local and national press, said there are "20 arrests for multiple voting" in that province of the country's coastline, contradicting the declarations of the electoral organ.

"The allegations are serious. In addition to the fact that we have evidence that thousands of voters voted more than once, there was a lack of ballot papers, polling stations that did not open, polling stations that closed early, and poor organization of the process by the IEC," said James Selfie of the DA Federal Council in statements to the television channel ENCA.

About 28 million voters were called to vote for the sixth time since the end of apartheid in 1994. South Africa's political future, after a decade of weak economic growth, increased corruption in the State and racial tensions.

Elections for a new National Assembly and nine provincial legislatures are the most contested in South Africa, since the fall of apartheid in 1994. These elections are the barometer for the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced in February, 2018, Jacob Zuma. Jacob Zuma was taken out of office due to several corruption scandals.

The first numbers, revealed by the IEC on Wednesday night, point to a victory of the ANC, followed by DA, the opposition's largest party, and the radical left.