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Observers raise some concerns about LGE 2016

President of the Voting Rights Organisation of South Africa, Geoffrey Simon Ngonyama, says there were several issues that the group observed during the electioneering process.

On Saturday night, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declared this year’s Local Government Elections as free and fair.

Ngonyama agrees with the IEC, but suggests that there was insufficient training of some of the IEC officials at the polling stations.

Ngonyama says, “One of the things that we picked up as an issue was the inconsistent application of some strategies relating to the elections, for instance the strategy to minimise long queues. The other problem that we picked up was the utilisation of one ballot box for two or three ballot papers for metros and rural areas.”

“This caused a lot of problems and wasted a lot of time. The other thing that we picked up as an issue was that we were not convinced that there has been proper training or briefing for some of the electoral staff. They didn’t quite understand the process, for instance before they could open some of their colleagues would talk and advise the IEC officials as to how things should be done,” adds Ngonyama.

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