The ‘electoral commissioner’ offers the provincial leader an agreement to manipulate the vote

The South African Electoral Commission (IEC) has uncovered a WhatsApp scam that promises to influence next week’s national and provincial elections.

According to the commission, an impostor posing as IEC chief executive Sy Mamabolo approached politicians with an offer to influence poll results.

“The impostor is active on WhatsApp using two numbers, the first is a WhatsApp business account that carries the CEO’s profile image. The other is a private account of someone called ‘Moloi (IEC IT SPECIALIST)’ who claims to represent CEO Mamabolo.”

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He said the scammers had spoken to at least one provincial leader of a political party with their offer to make illegal moves to attract votes.

“The objective of the scam is apparently monetary gain for manipulating the results of the 2024 elections in favor of the corresponding recipient,” he explained.

He said such interference would be “impossible” because of security controls.

“The Electoral Commission appeals to political candidates and the public to contact the commission to verify any information in case they are contacted by someone claiming to be CEO Mamabolo and if necessary, report the matter to the South African Police Service (SAPS).”

An ‘IEC official’ approached the UDM to manipulate the votes

In January, a suspected fraudster posing as CIS president Mosotho Moepya approached the United Democratic Movement (UDM). The imposter promised to win additional seats for the party in Parliament.

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The scammer said that all the party had to do was buy them an SSD that would alter the hardware of the IEC systems without anyone knowing.

Holomisa reported the interaction to the IEC and said the commission should safeguard all votes cast.

“This incident requires greater transparency in terms of information about hardware and software from IEC service providers,” Holomisa said at the time.

Additional reporting by Eric Naki