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South Africa’s Electoral Commission Denounces Threats Against Election Staff

South Africa
South Africa

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa, the country’s electoral body, on Sunday condemned threats of violence made against its officials and staff in KwaZulu-Natal Province.

“The commission strongly condemns threats to its staff. No party, nor its representatives, has the authority to gain access to private homes of electoral staff. Worse still, no party, nor its representatives, may take control of election material without being authorized to do so,” said Sy Mamabolo, IEC’s chief electoral officer, while briefing the media in Pretoria, the country’s administrative capital, about their preparations for the elections.

Mamabolo said that a presiding officer with the IEC was woken at his home in the middle of Saturday night regarding bulk material, including voting booths, voting station signage and banners, and new unfolded ballot boxes, stored at a voting station in Chesterville in the province.

“The commission is contemplating measures against the party and individuals involved, as such obstruction to election activities should not be tolerated. This conduct violates the Electoral Code of Conduct and other electoral regulations,” he said. “We want to assure the public that additional measures have been implemented to secure these various storage sites across the country.”

South Africa is scheduled to hold national and local government elections on May 29.

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