Alexandra residents protest outside IEC office

File: Over 40 parties will contest 95 wards across the country, in the biggest set of by-elections of its kind in South Africa's history. eNCA

eNCA

JOHANNESBURG - Scores of people representing different political parties are burning tyres and protesting outside the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) station in Alexandra, Johannesburg.

The protest is fueled by reports that two ballot boxes were found dumped in the area on Thursday.

“There are about 200 people. They want to know how the ballot boxes ended-up in someone’s house. They demand answers from the IEC and have partly damaged the IEC office. Its a bit calm now but the situation remains tense,” said Alexandra resident Nthabiseng Mashaba.

Police spokesman Neville Malila said he was not aware of the protest and nothing had been reported to the police.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela was also not aware of the protest but confirmed that there were reports of dumped ballot boxes in the area.

Early Thursday the IEC called on South Africans not to be alarmed by reports of ballot boxes and papers being found in different areas.

"Upon conclusion of voting, ballots are counted in front of party agents and results determined before they are put on a result slip which is signed," deputy chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo told reporters.

"If a ballot box is mislaid, it does not impact on [the] regularity of counting at voting stations".

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