The 2021 Local Government Elections have been smeared with corruption. This is according to the residents of ward 14 at Luthuli Park in the outskirts of Polokwane on Wednesday, 03 November 2021. The disgruntled residents say that they were shocked of the sight of burning special vote’s ballot papers, amid the eve of the local elections on Monday.
Speaking to Heita FM on the sidelines, Community Leader Raymond Manyaka says that: “On Sunday night I was woken up by a concerned community member who told me that they have seen a suspicious car burning ballot papers at a nearby sports ground. Upon the news I immediately mobilized a few neighbors to go and see what was happening. That is when we found a number of special votes papers being burnt next to an Independent Electoral Commission tent in Luthuli ground.”
He says that whilst they were still puzzled by the discovery of the burned papers, they found that there were unsealed special votes being exchanged before the official counting time at Mahlasedi Park voting station at Emdo.
“This was not a separate incident because we also found that the numbers on the seals of the boxes were not corresponding with the number of our voting station. This shows that the elections were not free and fair. Because when we were still shocked by what happened in Luthuli Park, our nearby neighbors found opened seals at a Mahlasedi voting tent” highlighted Manyaka.
The community argues that they were left helpless over by the ordeal as their pleas for an urgent intervention fell on deaf ears. “We have since informed the provincial counting station at Peter Mokaba Stadium about our discovery but nothing has been done as they only told us that they will look into the matter once the final counting of all ballots has been finalized. So we refuse to recognise any person that is illegally appointed and not elected by us, the people of ward 14,” Manyaka told Heita FM.
Meanwhile all attempts by Heita FM in getting a response by the Independent Electoral Commission’s Provincial Manager Motsiri Ramafalo were unsuccessful on the time of publishing