Eric Naki
Political Editor
2 minute read
1 Nov 2021
12:47 pm

‘Stop the elections!’ – Change party up in arms over wrong name on ballot

Eric Naki

The Change party says their logo appearing next to the wrong name is no accident, and accuse the IEC of putting "democracy at risk".

The Change party wanted the elections to be stopped after their logo appeared next to the wrong name in two municipalities.

CHANGE Party President Lesiba Molokomme is up in arms and demands the elections be stopped, after discovering his party’s name has been replaced with that of another party on the Proportional Representation (PR) ballot papers for both Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni metros.

Instead of Change’s name, an unknown party called Active Movement for Change appeared on the ballot paper alongside the Change logo.

This left Change party voters puzzled, however in both metros, ward ballot papers reflected Change’s correct details including candidate details and party logos.

The correct ballots as signed off by Change.
The correct ballots as signed off by Change.

Now Molokomme has been invited to a meeting with the Electoral Commission of South Africa, Sy Mamambolo to resolve the crisis. The meeting was scheduled for 12.30 this afternoon at the IEC Results Operation Centre.

“The PR ballot paper we signed for is not the one the voters will find at the voting stations, in that it bears the name of a different party. The ballot paper has the name ‘Active Movement for Change’. Our party name is CHANGE,” Molokomme explained.

He said they spotted the problem in the City of Joburg Metro, where the party was contesting all the wards. Later they found the same problem on PR ballot papers at Ekurhuleni Metro.

The faulty ballot papers, with the name of a completely different party appearing next to the logo of Change.
The faulty ballot papers, with the name of a completely different party appearing next to the logo of Change.

“This is not a mistake, as the IEC will want us to believe. For a mere fact that this was done after the signing off of ballot papers, it makes it a deliberate obstruction of democracy by a body seen to be a guardian of the voting rights. This is unlawful and an adverse violation of both our rights as a political party and those of the voters,” Molokomme said.

He described the latest IEC omission as an “onslaught against the Change party”

“There must be something terribly wrong with the IEC, and our democracy is at risk. One can’t help but ask how and why should the IEC do this? How do they print out a wrong ballot paper without anyone knowing it?” Molokomme said.

Previously CHANGE’s name was omitted from the ballot papers, but the party did not take legal action against the IEC after being advised by its legal team  that there were no prospects for a win.

“We then put our sweat on campaigns only to find out now of this horrible mess by the IEC. This will deal us a blow as voters will be confused. The presiding officers and party agents will also find it tough to decide on disputed votes regarding CHANGE.”

The IEC could not be immediately be available for comment, but the commission is expected to have a media briefing later in the day.