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South Africa's elections body IEC taken to court on vote-rigging allegations

by Staff reporter
09 Jun 2024 at 09:15hrs | Views
The uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) has reaffirmed its position that it would be taking, on an urgent basis, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) of South Africa to court over election rigging allegations, following days of speculation.

The party, led by former president Jacob Zuma, intends approaching the court, seeking for the IEC to set aside the 2024 election results following objections by various parties.

It will be the first time since the dawn of democracy that the IEC would be hauled before court over results. They were declared at the Results Operations Centre in Midrand last Sunday.

Various political parties that contested in the elections have teamed up to challenge the outcome as null and void.

Leading the charge is Zuma's MKP with, among other smaller parties, the African Congress for Transformation (ACT) led by Ace Magashule, a former ANC secretary-general who also started a splinter party.

The parties had planned to file the court papers on Monday but, according to insiders, were still consulting and would be doing so "imminently".

In a statement released yesterday, MKP said it would consider entering the National Assembly when it opens after the conclusion of the court process.

The splinter party has made significant strides, collecting 58 seats in Parliament considering its the first time it contests elections.

In recent days, reports were rife that the party was planning on boycotting the first sitting of Parliament over discrepancies and irregularities about the election process.

"The MK Party will only consider entering Parliament upon the conclusion of our imminent urgent court applications, where we will present sufficient evidence demonstrating that the IEC rigged the elections to the detriment of the MK Party and other parties," wrote the party's spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela.

He added that his organisation had noted with concern some "mischievous" media reports suggesting that its 58 members of Parliament had changed their stance regarding their decision not to attend Parliament.

"We want to make it clear that due to the glaring election rigging by the IEC, which led to the massive theft of MK party votesā€¦ we wish to reiterate that our position remains unchanged, and that we will attend Parliament proceedings only based on the outcomes of the court proceedings," Ndhlela said.

He said while the party respected its constituency and the people who elected their members in Parliament their duty was to change the "current neo-liberal Constitution and ensuring expropriation of land without compensation".

"Among others, we believe that voices of all our voters, are incompleteā€¦ attending the first sitting of Parliament without all our votes and voices being counted would betray our commitment to unity and democratic values where every voice and wish deserves to be heard," Ndhlela said.

He further said that through the election period, MK Party had stood firm in its commitment to political integrity and expediency.

"Hence, we cannot stand by while crucial institutions like the IEC are manipulated for political ends. Our resolve remains strong, and we will continue to fight for the true representation of our voters in Parliament and ensure that every voter's desire find expression in Parliament," he said.

However, the governing ANC, speaking at a media briefing after the announcement of the results on Sunday, said it had accepted the results as the governing party.

The party's secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, admitted that the MKP had caught them off-guard.

"We, as the ANC, are going to meet on Monday in order to analyse the phenomenon of the MK Party in Mpumalanga and KZN.

"We have got to analyse the Zuma phenomenon as it goes back to that deep analysis that we as the ANC are going to conduct. We can't do that if we start blaming structures," said Mbalula.

When it comes to the impact the MKP and the Zuma factor had on the ultimate results, Mbalula said in spite of certain projections, the governing party had under-estimated its impact on the election results.

"We knew Zuma would get support, but not this much. Our biggest worry was the IFP in KZN and the posture other royal houses had taken as it was moving away from us and entered politics by aiding and abetting the IFP. As we went into the elections, everyone wanted us down, including the media," said Mbalula.

The IEC said last week that it was not rushing the results, but were announcing them within the seven days after elections.

Source - IOL