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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist


ACDP demands answers for election results blackout, warns of conspiracy theories

Political parties want answers after election figures disappear on the IEC's leaderboard.


Political parties are demanding an explanation for the disappearance of numbers from the election leaderboard at the IEC’s national results operations centre in Midrand.

ACDP deputy president Wayne Thring panic was created when the results were off the screen for at least two hours on Friday morning.

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Elections leaderboard: Where did the numbers go?

Thring said there was no excuse for such an occurrence, adding that the IEC was given enough budget to ensure that the elections run smoothly without technical glitches.

“It’s not good. This creates a lot of suspicion and causes people to draw their own conclusion. From the time we came in, the board went down. It has taken them two hours to give some sort of feedback,” he said.

ALSO READ: IEC election results dashboard and screens back up after technical glitch

Thring said the explanation of a glitch was simply not enough.

“The IEC is having some changes and it speaks to the challenges of forward planning and administration that simply need to be improved on,” he said.

‘IEC allowing conspiracy theories to be created’

According to Thring, this could create an impression with the public that the elections are not free and fair.

“You cannot blame the ordinary man on the streets for coming up with their own ideas and conspiracy theories,” he said.

ALSO READ: How to safeguard election results from cyber threats

Thring said the IEC is responsible for preventing South Africa being perceived like other failed African states where elections are questioned.

“I think that we have to avoid these kinds of perceptions. They have been accused wrongly and sometimes rightfully, so with these kinds of glitches all it does it actually adds to these perceptions that South Africa is moving in the direction of these other African countries,” he said.

The ACDP had sought some intervention from IT experts to help them verify some of the information from the IEC.

Meanwhile, the IEC, in an impromptu press briefing, said it would explain the technical glitch later on Friday.

They assured reporters that the numbers on the screen had not been tampered with.

ALSO READ: Church-based political newcomers don’t scare us – ACDP

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