PRETORIA – The Electoral Commission (IEC) says the stolen ballot papers in Soweto will have no impact on the integrity of the elections.

The ballot papers, which were stored in boxes, were stolen out of a delivery truck in Dobsonville on Thursday night.

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 vehicle and boxes were 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 IEC said in a statement.

The police have already recovered two booklets and also found an undetermined number of others burnt.

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

The IEC has called on any person with any knowledge of the theft or any attempt to use these ballots to report this to the police immediately. – SAnews.gov.za