Durban – The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has said it was "too early" to tell if the election was free and fair.
This as allegations of double voting and irregularities at various voting stations emerged on Thursday.
Early figures from the Independent Electoral Commission showed that the ANC had taken the early lead in KwaZulu-Natal as results from South Africa’s sixth democratic elections trickled through.
By 8am, the ANC had secured 55% of the votes counted, the IFP 19% and the DA 12%. The EFF had secured 7% of the vote and the once mighty NFP just 1%.
Only 8.3% of voting stations had been counted.
Voter turn-out in KZN almost mirrored the national turn out with figures showing a 64% turn out.
KZN DA leader, Zwakele Mncwango commended the people of the province for a peaceful election.
"There were very few incidents of intolerance as we know that in this province there can be (political) intolerance but this is the best election ever we had in this province," he said.
Mncwango, however, raised concerns with the IEC’s handling of the election saying it was too early to say whether this election was fair and free.
"There have been a lot of discrepancies from the IEC side. We can name a few but we have lodged a complaint with the IEC. We are going to wait for them to tell us what is their final decision… As the DA we have done our part and what we see currently (with the results) it is promising because we are actually getting votes in areas, where we never had voted before. These were areas where the ANC and IFP were strong," he said.
In a statement on Thursday, the IEC said that it was taking seriously the allegations of two potential instances of double voting.
"The Electoral Commission would like to assure voters and all stakeholders of the overall integrity of the electoral process Two separate instances have been brought to the attention of the Electoral Commission over the past few hours in which it is alleged voters were able to cast more than one vote at different voting stations," the statement said.
"The commission views these allegations in the most serious light and has launched investigations into these incidents. Fortunately the election process contains a number of checks and safeguards which together serve to protect the integrity of the process".
The commission said the layers of security include:
- The voters’ roll which only allows registered voters to vote – and only allows for a single registration per voter
- The requirement for voters to produce a valid ID document before they vote
- The scanning of ID documents prior to voting
- The marking of a voter’s thumb with ink
- The completion of a form containing the details of voters and the signing of a sworn declaration by voters where they vote at a voting station at which they are not registered
- Party agents and observers monitoring all aspects of the voting, counting and results capturing process
- In-built system-based exception reports for which various tolerance levels have been set
"All of these leave a detailed footprint of voter participation in the process and can be used both separately and in combination to identify instances of electoral fraud".