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South Africa Election: Limpopo IEC official fired after ballot box opened for voter who was unhappy with vote

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The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has fired a presiding officer in Limpopo after he agreed with party agents to open a ballot box, it said on Monday evening.

Briefing the media at the results operations centre in Polokwane, IEC provincial electoral operations manager Itumeleng Seaneo said the ballot box was opened to assist a voter who felt he did not vote properly.

Seaneo explained that despite an agreement with political parties agents, the presiding officer grossly violated the rules, regulations, and laws that govern the election process.

He said the ballot box was immediately quarantined to ensure its integrity.

In an unrelated incident, a school principal apparently refused IEC officials access to conduct their duties

“A principal of Hoerskool Ellisras in Lephalale did not allow IEC into the school hall notwithstanding that a lease agreement was signed and there is an agreement with the Department of Education that the commission will have access to the schools,” Seaneo said.

A violent incident was also reported in the Lepelle Nkumpi area where some unruly elements tried to damage materials at a storage facility. A case was opened with the police.

However, Seaneo expressed confidence that preparations were in place for a free and fair election.

“It (the commission) is satisfied that it has done everything reasonably possible to prepare for these elections which are highly contested given the number of candidates, 11 617, inclusive of 231 independents and 69 district contesting parties,” he said.

Voting at Soshanguve and Mabopane got off to a slow start on Monday, with what appeared to be a very low voter turnout.

There was a marked difference in the reception President Cyril Ramaphosa received in 2019 when he turned up to vote in Soweto, and when he did so on Monday where he was booed.

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North Macedonia’s prime minister has announced his resignation following the heavy defeat of his governing SDSM in the country’s local elections.

The South African president Cyril Ramaphosa casts his ballot in the Hitekani Primary School in Soweto. The leader says the ANC knows “what the problems are” and wants to correct them “this time around”.

Of the just over 2.5 million registered voters in Limpopo, a total of 637 336 had cast their votes by 17:00 on Monday.

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Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

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