The 1927 elections in Liberia stand in the Guinness World Records as the most fraudulent ever. Charles B King, the story goes, won a staggering 96.23% of the vote, taking 230,000 votes against his rival Thomas JR Faulkner’s 9,000. That’s a grossly unbelievable margin by any count. But it gets worse: there were apparently just 15,000 registered voters in the country at the time. So we’re not talking common or garden vote-rigging here.

You’d think a similar thing has just played out in South Africa, if you listen to the MK Party. At an “address to the nation” on Sunday night, the party claimed that an eye-watering 9.3-million votes in the May 29 election are unaccounted for. It’s an absurd figure, given that just 16-million voters participated in the poll. It’s a level of electoral larceny that would make even King blush. And it defies all laws of logic — not least because, for rigging of that scale, you’d expect the winning party to walk off with a lot more than the 40% suppo...

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