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Several ballot boxes found abandoned at voting stations

Although Wednesday’s local government elections have generally been declared to have been free and fair in the North West, opposition parties have expressed concern.

A number of ballot boxes were found abandoned either at voting stations, in the street or simply dumped in the veld, as was the case in Rustenburg.

Four ballot boxes were again found abandoned, at a polling station in Ward 21, at Tlokwe Local Municipality.

Since Wednesday a number of ballot boxes, some with ballot papers inside, have been found at different voting stations in the province.

The latest case is at Ward 21, in Ikageng Extension 7.

Four boxes were found at a church which was used as a voting station on Wednesday.

Church member Paul Segoto says, “We found those boxes. They (boxes) have to be at IEC offices; not in our church.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has already lodged a complaint with the police.

EFF PR Candidate Timothy Majola says, “We are here to lodge and to open up a case against IEC. So, the matter is now in the hands of the police and we do believe that they will take it further because this is not the first incident within two days where we found those boxes.”

The IEC in the province has declined to comment, saying it has not been officially notified.

However, they have an explanation for why ballot boxes were found dumped in the veld in Rustenburg.

IEC’s Dr. Tumelontle Thiba says that happened at the Sunrise View voting station.

“The presiding officer had used five boxes. After counting the ballot papers fitted into three boxes. She unfortunately did not take the empty ballot boxes back to the local office. What she did was she picked up the waste that was in the voting station and put it in the empty ballot boxes and put them next to the rubbish bin on the school premises.”

Even though the 2016 local government elections have been officially closed, ballot boxes and papers found at various locations across the province have been worrying to opposition parties.

Although most of the incidents have been reported to local police stations, other political parties are now considering legal action.

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