REHOBOTH - Jacky Britz became the Rehoboth Baster Kaptein after he scored 2 583 votes in Saturday’s election, while the online votes were disqualified. Rynault van Wyk could only garner 523 votes.
Van Wyk rejected “the election results and the election process in its entirety”, saying the election was not free and fair. “The results were not verified, validated and signed by the election officials present,” said Van Wyk in a statement issued yesterday afternoon.
He said there is evidence that some ballot box holders were left open and unsealed at polling stations long after the elections closed.
The winning candidate, retired teacher Britz, struck a conciliatory tone, urging the Rehoboth community to support him during his tenure, saying it’s a collective responsibility.
“I did not win this, neither did Van Wyk lost. The community of Rehoboth won the election. Never in my life, have I experienced unity as it was shown by the community through the voting process. They have exercised their democratic rights to display unity. My plea to them is never to stop praying for a better tomorrow for our children. My message to my voters and Van Wyk is that there is room for assistance,” he said emotionally.
The total ballot papers were 3 106 and online votes were discarded due to multiple voting. The voting process commenced on Saturday morning and ended at 21h00. The results were announced yesterday morning after the counting and verification processes were concluded in the presence of observers.
One of the facilitators of the election, Jade Izaks, who was responsible for the registration process of the voters, described the process as free and fair, saying that the turnout was more than what was expected.
Izaks acknowledged that the online process erroneously allowed voters to vote multiple times. They, therefore, reached a consensus to discard it and just announced the paper ballot results.
“There were 168 online voters registered but the votes were more than 200. That can already tell you that the online process was not free and fair although we can trace who voted multiple times. Hence, I think it is fair to discard everything on the online process,” he said.
Izaks further explained that he was amazed by the youth in Rehoboth who showed up in big numbers from as early as 07h00 to cast their votes, saying they want to have a leader who will unite their community.
The registration facilitator said the election was conducted according to Baster customs, following the death of John McNab, who passed away on 3 October 2020. He was 82-years-old and served as Kaptein from 1999 when he succeeded Hans Diergaardt.
Hendrik Swarts and his wife Irene described the election as fair and free and they were happy to cast their votes. They voted at Rehoboth’s Hermanus van Wyk Gedenk Saal early on Saturday. – email@example.com