The Independent Electoral Commission will conduct an audit of results and votes cast in a sample of voting stations to ascertain if double-voting occurred.
So far, 20 people have been arrested in KZN and Gauteng for voting more than once. In Mpumalanga, cases of fraud are being investigated and police are calling for those involved to hand themselves over.
IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said: “Any attempt to vote more than once, leaves a clear footprint in the electoral process and the suspects were tracked down using this information.”
He said the IEC has ordered an investigation into the effectiveness of indelible ink. The investigations will be done in conjunction with the CSIR.
The IEC procured about 200,000 pens containing the ink and increased the silver nitrate from 15%, used in previous elections, to 20% to improve effectiveness. The indelible ink has been a huge controversy for these elections as many voters proved that they could easily remove the ink immediately after voting.
This enabled some to try their luck and vote in more than one voting stations.
The IEC said it expected South Africans to be honest at voting stations, as 19 cases of “duplicate voting” in KZN are being investigated by police.
IEC’s deputy chief executive officer Mawethu Mosery said the commission did not expect South Africans to resort to criminal activities on election day. “We expected honesty. Our security features are reliant on the authority given to you to exercise 24 (A) through a scanner machine or giving us proof that you are registered as a voter.”
National police spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo said 16 people are alleged to have transgressed in Danhauser, two in Hluhluwe and one in Port Shepstone while the other suspect was arrested in Douglasdale in Gauteng.
“These arrests are indicative that the security features employed by the IEC to prevent double voting from taking place have been effective. The four layers of security are effectively implemented to protect the integrity of the election process. Furthermore, people bragging on social media about having cast ‘double votes’ must realise that this is a transgression of the Electoral Act, if not fraud or both,” Naidoo said.
Mpumamanga police commissioner Gen Mondli Zuma warned that arrests were looming.
“Remember, this is an urgent matter and we have since handed the docket to the National Prosecuting Authority for guidance. We are calling for those who have voted more than once to come forward and hand themselves over to the police,” said Zuma.
IEC provincial spokesperson Sibusiso Nkosi declined to comment, saying the cases were being investigated by police.
EFF provincial chairperson in Mpumalanga Collen Sedibe said the problem was that the ink can be removed easily.
“That calls for transformation of the commission because their management of the elections is weak for these criminals we are up against.”