MK Party accuses IEC of vote rigging in ANC’s favour

South Africa - Johannesburg - 18 may 2024 - Leader of Umkhonto Wesizwe Jacob Zuma arrives at Orlando stadium for the party mayibuye rally in Soweto.Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspaper

South Africa - Johannesburg - 18 may 2024 - Leader of Umkhonto Wesizwe Jacob Zuma arrives at Orlando stadium for the party mayibuye rally in Soweto.Picture: Itumeleng English/ Independent Newspaper

Published May 26, 2024


Former president Jacob Zuma has called on South Africa to be alert to possible election rigging at the hands of the governing party the ANC and the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

Speaking at the uMkhonto weSizwe Party’s (MKP) closing rally in eMalahleni (Witbank), Zuma said parties found in contravention of the IEC code should be struck off the election ballot.

This follows dramatic events where many South Africans accused the IEC of colluding with the ANC.

MKP members on Sunday claimed that there was a suspected vote-rigging method at play at a ballot storage facility in KwaZulu-Natal.

It was later established that this was a storage site of the IEC.

Videos by supporters of the MKP have been making the rounds on X and TikTok alleging that “vote rigging” is in progress. The videos relate to activities at the storage sites of the IEC in Chesterville and Hammarsdale in KZN.

In the first video in an IEC storage facility in KZN, people wearing MKP regalia are seen complaining and asking questions about the ballots being delivered at the venue. Police in uniform are later seen collecting the black boxes and placing them in a truck. It looked like they were taking them to a safe place.

“This series of events points to a systemic problem that not only threatens the democratic fabric of our nation but affirms the MK Party’s long-held view that the IEC is partisan towards Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC by allowing the rigging of elections, including in the 2019 elections when Ramaphosa was controversially elected as president.

“These incidents, which our members informed us, which are occurring in other provinces such as Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, and North West, are particularly alarming as they compound the growing distrust amongst a majority of South Africans towards the IEC – a view which the MK Party has repeatedly raised,” said MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela.

He further said: “The IEC’s relentless collusion with the Concourt judges to have Zuma barred from participating in parliamentary elections – an action beyond its mandate – exemplifies its increasingly partisan stance against MKP and Zuma, for Ramaphosa and his ANC.

“This alleged glaring electoral rigging, which the IEC seems to be turning a blind eye to or is complicit in, cannot be ignored by the MKP since not only does it undermine our democracy, but it also poses a significant risk to the integrity of the elections and the possible political instability such election fraud may cause as seen in many other countries.”

Unisa professor Boitumelo Senokoane said the behaviour of the IEC was very bizarre in this election.

“For the longest time, society has been convinced that the IEC is the IEC of the ANC. The ANC has been the ruling party for a long time and because they have been a majority they’ve been in a position to appoint the IEC officials. The recent actions against Zuma by the IEC suggest deep political interference within the commission” Senokoane said.

The IEC said it noted with great concern incidents that had occurred in KZN.

“We wish to clarify that the videos depict our planned logistical arrangements and storage of election materials as we prepare for the first day of special voting on 27 May 2024. These are legitimate and authorised arrangements for the distribution of ballot papers and other bulk material.

“The planned security measures were that the trucks distributing ballot papers are escorted by SAPS to the local storage site. These storage sites will then be guarded on a 24-hours basis. This arrangement would ensure that the storage sites are protected against unauthorised entry, burglary, and tampering with election materials and ensure detailed control and recording of all items in storage,” said IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela.

Despite the latest incident, there had been allegations suggesting that the ANC was in bed with the IEC.

Earlier this month, IEC’s top officials met with US ambassador Reuben Brigety, which raised eyebrows.

This drew criticism from some circles that the US was apparently influencing the outcome of the polls.

Then, the IEC said there was nothing wrong in meeting Brigety. It said it also met with EU and Latin American ambassadors on the same basis to assure them they were holding credible elections.

Recently, the DA had written to the US and several other countries, including the EU, appealing to them to help provide resources for independent domestic observers ahead of the May 29 polls.

The Star

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