Having been turned down by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the Democratic Alliance takes a step further to the Electoral Court to officially request for a recount of votes in the Bitou Municipality.
The party officially filed an application with the court on Thursday afternoon, claiming votes at one of the voting stations in Plettenberg Bay didn’t add up.
Earlier before filing the case in court, DA constitutional head for the area Donald Grant said the party had written a letter to the IEC, citing an objection in terms of the Electoral Act.
In the letter, DA officials questioned the number of spoiled ballots at St Monica’s voting station in Ward 5 in Kwanokuthula.
“Spoiled ballots were more than 3 percent, or 159 ballots, at the one VD when it is usually 1 percent. All that we’re asking for is a recount,” said Grant.
Upon receiving this, the IEC poured cold water on the DA’s complaint saying it had investigated suspected irregularities.
The party missed out on a majority by over 40 votes and successful appeal could provide complications as a mayor in the Active United Front and African National Congress-led council was inaugurated.
Last week the Active United Front, with one seat on the 13-seat council, went into coalition with the ANC to take charge of the municipality, which had since 2011 been controlled by the DA through a coalition with Cope.
Speaking on the party’s determination to move on with the court case, DA’s constituency head for Bitou Municipality Donald Grant said, “We are hoping they will review these papers and respond positively to us within 10 days from last Thursday.”
Grant also said other parties are welcome to make inputs. “It’s standard practice that all the people who have contested that ward gave or receive the papers and if they wish to, they can submit their own information to the Electoral Court,” he said while declaring his uncertainty as to when the matter will be decided by the electoral court.