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Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996)


Rules for the First Sitting of the National Assembly, National Council of Provinces and Provincial Legislatures

7. Counting of votes



(1) As soon as the voting has been completed, the presiding officer must suspend proceedings and the returning officer and the assistant returning officers must remove the ballot box and all their papers to a room where the counting is to take place.


(2) The ballot box must he opened by the returning officer in the presence of the presiding officer and the counting of the votes must then be proceeded with.


(3) No person other than the presiding officer, the returning officer and the assistant returning officers may be present in the room while the votes are being counted.


(4) After the votes have been counted, the returning officer must report to the presiding officer, informing him or her of the result of the counting of the votes.


(5) On receipt of the report, the presiding officer must return to the place of the meeting and announce the result of the election.



(a) The returning officer must retain the nomination papers, the used ballot papers and the counterfoils thereof in a sealed packet for a period of at least one year.
(b) The sealed packet may not be opened except by order of a court.