News / South Africa / Elections / Local Elections 2021

Molefe Seeletsa
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
2 Nov 2021
11:38 am

IEC officials ambushed at voting station in Mpumalanga

Molefe Seeletsa

The IEC says equipment and ballot papers were left in a car when the officials fled the scene so no votes were compromised.

Voting at the Highway Gardens voting station in Edenvale during the voting day on 1 November 2021. Picture: Neil McCartney

Officials at a voting station in Mpumalanga escaped unharmed after they were ambushed on election day, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has confirmed.

Ambush

The incident took place at the Plaantjie Primary School in Bushbuckridge – in ward 24 – shortly after the officials had concluded vote counting.

“[The officials] were ambushed late last night by unknown men. [They] managed to get away,” the commission said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

The IEC said, however, that its equipment and ballot papers were left in a car when the officials fled the scene so no votes were compromised.

ALSO READ: Special voting closes as police launches probe into rigging

“Fortunately, the ballot papers had been counted and the signed slip confirming this, was on the person of one of the officials, when they fled the scene,” the electoral body added.

The commission further said it was pleased that no one was harmed and that this act of criminality did not compromise the votes from the ward.

“We hope that the suspects are found and that they face the full might of the law,” the IEC concluded.

More incidences

While citizens were casting their special votes over the weekend, several incidents were reported in Mpumalanga.

In the Nkangala region, two men suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol were arrested in Delmas for interference with IEC officials.

In the very same area, a group of about seven men were under the influence of alcohol and tried to prevent the community from voting, according to the South African Police Service (Saps).

Mpumalanga Saps spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said police then urgently and calmly extinguished the situation.

The seven men were dressed in the regalia of their political party.

Meanwhile, a case has been opened after community members of Cunningmore in Calcutta allegedly tampered with ballot boxes on election day.

The incident happened at approximately 11.50pm on Monday, where two police officers and two IEC officials – who were transporting ballot boxes – were also ambushed.

“Their vehicles were blocked and in the process the community members removed one full ballot box and one empty box from the IEC vehicle.

“A case has subsequently been opened in this regard. The investigation is ongoing. A team consisting of three major-generals [sic] and a brigadier was immediately sent to ensure that the matter receives the necessary attention,” Mohlala said.

Result count in Mpumalanga

With almost 30% of votes counted on Tuesday morning in Mpumalanga, it appears the province will continue to be an ANC stronghold.

However, with a slightly reduced majority from the last municipal elections.

By 9am on Tuesday, 28% of votes were completed in Mpumalanga and the ANC received 53.23% of the all votes tallied so far.

READ MORE: Election results 2021: Here’s how votes are counted

The ANC was followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) at 17.81% and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at 14.69%.

In the last local government elections in 2016, the ANC garnered 70.74% of complete votes in the province followed by the DA at 12.93% and the EFF at 9.39%.

Follow the 2021 local government election results live here.

Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe