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Penguin SA

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Excerpt from Birth: The Conspiracy to Stop the '94 Election by Peter Harris

BirthSouth Africa’s 1994 elections were filled with high drama – some of it known to the public, and some of it taking place in the main offices of the Independent Electoral Commission, where the vote-counting took place, in the face of a host of problems, including several manufactured with malicious intent. Read about one such hurdle in this gripping excerpt from Peter Harris’ much-anticipated new work, Birth:

“The hacker went in between 05:56 and 06:41 on the morning of 3 May and made changes to the vote count of three parties. Neil Cawse picked up early that morning that there was a significant increase in the number of total votes counted nationwide (in the order of one to four million).”

I nod dully to show that I am listening, but it is an unwilling comprehension as I listen to him telling me how the electronic count has been tampered with and altered.

“Shit,” I say at one point, “surely this couldn’t have been easy to do. I mean, the administration division told us that this was an incredibly sophisticated system, foolproof, the Fort Knox of systems, completely impregnable. You can’t just get into a highly protected IT network and change national election results.” There’s an unnatural whine to my voice.

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