Only unused ballots are shredded - Selfe on DA Congress allegations

Federal legal commission to 'get to the bottom of it'

Only unused ballots are shredded - Selfe on DA Congress allegations

20 November 2017

Cape Town - Democratic Alliance federal council chairperson James Selfe has rebuffed claims that the party shredded used ballot papers after the conclusion of its Western Cape provincial congress.

DA MPL Lennit Max has formally challenged the results of the party's Western Cape congress held in October, after losing the position of provincial leader to Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela by 16 votes.

Max claimed at the time that he had evidence that the total votes tallied exceeded the amount of registered party delegates.

This weekend, the Sunday Times reported that Max and colleague Masizole Mnqasela also alleged that ballots had "been destroyed" after the results were announced. The new accusations were filed in their formal appeal papers last Tuesday.

Selfe though, on Monday dismissed the claims.

"What happens is that the unused ballots are shredded," he told News24. "There are always some ballots that are unused - where people don't pitch or delegates don't come to the Congress - and it is somewhere between 5% and 10% of all ballots."Once the ballots have been reconciled, the unused ballots are then shredded to prevent them from being voted on subsequently."

Selfe was sure that the used ballots were "indeed still around", and the DA's federal legal commission, chaired by DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach, would get to the bottom of it.

'The appeal would not succeed'

"I am very satisfied there was absolutely a clear process and that the appeal would not succeed," he said.

"But obviously we have to satisfy Mr Max and a wider audience, so we will be doing this very thoroughly."

He would now leave the probe and its findings up to the legal commission, having referred the request last week.

Breytenbach told News24 that the commission received the formal request on Wednesday, but has not had time yet to investigate.

The commission was busy this past week with issues relating to the DA's Gauteng provincial congress, held this past weekend, but should begin work on the complaint this week.

Max meanwhile said he has not decided yet if he will approach the courts to look into the results of the congress."It is still an internal matter at the moment, so we're still considering if that is necessary," he told News24 on Monday.

He would wait until after the internal processes were finished before commenting further on the matter.