Pretoria – The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) revealed that the supply of the controversial indelible ink was procured by Lithotech.
Lithotech is owned by Bidvest South Africa, an international services, trading and Distribution Company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Sy Mamabolo, the commission’s chief electoral officer, was responding to questions about the controversy surrounding the ink markers, at a press briefing on Thursday.
It was discovered, during Election Day, that in some regions, electoral officers were using markers that could be easily removed after a few rinses under the tap.
Dali Mpofu of the EFF was on record when speaking to the enca Anchor when he confirmed EFF had sent someone to test the process and can confirm they successfully voted in more than one station.
— Alu Chokoe (@AluChokoe) May 9, 2019
Bantu Holomisa of UDM also posted videos on his twitter wall where a man is seen washing the Ink off easily, as well as other users who posted images of more than one voting receipts.
The IEC Ink! pic.twitter.com/HLnAJKqh7d
— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) May 8, 2019
You wanted proof.
— Uncle Sammy🇿🇦 (@MashSammy) May 8, 2019
— Tim Flack (@tim_meh87) May 8, 2019
Indelible ink was one of the security measures used to protect the voting system and prevent people from voting more than once. Painting a voter’s thumb with the indelible ink is the last security measure that is taken before one is handed the two ballot papers and shown to a voting booth.
Before that, presiding electoral officers run the voter’s ID on a scanner, recording its participation and linking it to the voter’s roll, where the names of every registered voter are listed.
Moepya insisted they bought ink made of a secret formula that should have made it difficult to remove.
“This is indelible ink and I promise you it’s indelible. But it’s indelible because the formula used, which is secret to you. I know it because I’ve had to order and I said I want so much strength of nitride on it so that it can’t be removed.”
This prompted political parties like the DA, to file complaints with the commission, calling for an audit on the election results, to ensure that the final voter count does not erroneously include double votes.
#ElectionResults latest: The Electoral Commission has ordered an investigation into the effectiveness of the indelible ink marker pens supplied for #SAElections2019. Investigation will be done with the CSIR & with the full cooperation and support of the supplier.
— IEC South Africa (@IECSouthAfrica) May 9, 2019
The Indelible pens used cost R2.7 million, there was no official response from the company at the time of publishing.