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Suspected electoral fraud mars ward committee polls Print E-mail
07 February 2017

More than 51 000 voters in 74 polling stations across three regions – B, C and F – turned out to cast their ballots in the City of Johannesburg’s second round of ward committee elections at the weekend.

The figure – an average of 700 per voting station – is significantly lower than the 62 000 voters who were expected to take part in the polls, held between 9am and 5pm on Saturday February 4. The first round of the elections was conducted in regions A and E on Saturday January 28.

Speaker of Council Cllr Vasco da Gama said most of the voting stations were “better prepared this time”.
“Only two voting stations opened 20 minutes after the official opening time,” said Cllr Da Gama.

He said only a few incidents of violence and cases of electoral fraud were reported to the nerve centre at the Roodepoort Civic Centre.

A fight broke out between two candidates in Cosmo City and a number of voters are suspected to have voted more than once in a few wards.

“Our ink is removable and as a result there is evidence that some people might have voted twice. However, our officials would have been able to track the voters with their registered details,” he said.

The Speaker said the suspected fraud would not impact on the integrity of the elections as the polls in the affected voting stations might be declared null and void and re-elections held.

“It’s unfortunate that this has allegedly occurred as it will cost the City a lot of money to [hire staff to conduct the re-elections] and print more ballot papers.

“We will record all the objections from all the regions and then decide where we will hold re-elections. The candidates will be informed to ensure that we have a fair process,” he said.

The Speaker said all the objections would be discussed after the third round of the elections in regions D and G, to be held on Saturday February 11.

Established in terms of the Local Authorities Act of 1998, ward committees play a crucial role in municipal affairs in that they assist democratically elected public representatives in all wards to carry out their mandates.

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Last Updated on 07 February 2017