Unlawful removal of ballots from a delivery vehicle

The Electoral Commission is aware of an incident which occurred last night in Dobsonville Soweto in which boxes containing ballot papers for next week’s election were stolen from a delivery vehicle.

The Electoral Commission has established that the boxes contained ballot papers for Ward 29 and Ward 31 in Johannesburg. It is unlikely that the perpetrator/s were aware the boxes contained ballot papers as the vehicles and boxes are unmarked.

However, as part of our security measures, each ballot book has a unique serial number allowing the Electoral Commission to identify exactly which ballots are affected and to quarantine these immediately.

Given the known identity of these ballots as well as the security features built into the ballot papers themselves, the Electoral Commission is confident that the loss of these ballot papers can have no impact on the integrity of the elections. The numbers of the missing booklets for Ward 29 are 127 – 146 and for Ward 31 are 76 – 113. Each book has 100 ballot papers.

The Electoral Commission and the South African Police Service are working closely in the investigation of this incident. The SAPS has already recovered two booklets and found an indeterminate number of others burnt.

The recovered ballots will remain quarantined and contingency measures are in place to replace these ballots at the voting stations affected. 

The Electoral Commission calls on any person with any knowledge of the theft or any attempt to use these ballots to report this to the SAPS immediately.

Ensuring free and fair elections 
For media queries please contact Kate Bapela on 082 600 6386
For media interviews with IEC officials: Please email requests to spokesperson@elections.org.za