The EFF welcomes the immediate dismissal of a Deputy Presiding Officer who was caught trying to rig the elections in Ward 6 of Endumeni, Talana Community Hall in KwaZulu NaEndumeni, Ward 6 – Talana Community Hall.
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).
This resulted into chaos and a shutdown of the Voting Station. Senior IEC officials were then called and they arrived to take the said ballots for investigation. The investigation found that indeed the Deputy Presiding Officer had marked the ballot in favour of the ANC candidate who is their mother. The Deputy Presiding Officer has since been dismissed.
Whilst we welcome the IEC for responding positvely, it is no enough to simply dismiss a presiding officer who attempted to rig elections in favour of the ruling party. The IEC must act with the same speed it removed an EFF candidate from the list in Tshwane to press criminal charges on the said Deputy Presiding Officer.
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.