2019 South African general election: Analysis and News

Why the 'permanent' ink pens used to mark voters’ thumbs failed

A citizen gets his thumb marked before casting his vote on 8 May 2019. Picture: GCIS

The “permanent” ink pens used to mark voters’ thumbs in Wednesday’s election failed, perhaps because the supplier – Lithotech Exports, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Bidvest – skimped on silver when making the ink, wrote Phillip de Wet, Associate Editor at Business Insider South Africa.

The ink is supposedly designed to stay visible for a week.

Several parties say the defect allowed some people to vote more than once.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is investigating.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed De Wet.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for quotes from it).

Bidvest isn’t talking to us… we’ve expressed our displeasure…

Phillip de Wet, Associate Editor - Business Insider South Africa

…there is speculation that the pens might have been imported…

Phillip de Wet, Associate Editor - Business Insider South Africa

You want 13% silver nitrate in your composition… it’s relatively expensive… We worry that the IEC bought too cheaply…

Phillip de Wet, Associate Editor - Business Insider South Africa

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