The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) does not have the capacity to ensure irregularities do not occur during the elections, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Friday.
“I don’t trust that the IEC has enough manpower to protect itself from anything going wrong,” Maimane told supporters in Pretoria during the launch of the party’s “vote for change” campaign.
What happened in Tlokwe during the 2013 by-elections should never be allowed to happen again, Maimane said.
Last year, the Constitutional Court set aside the by-elections conducted on September 12, 2013 in ward 18, and on December 10, 2013 in wards one, four, 11, 12, 13, and 20. The court ordered that they be re-run.
The applicants were eight independent candidates who had contested the by-elections. The ANC won all but one of the contested wards. In the judgment, the court said no political party was found to have been involved in the irregularities, and it did not mean the independents or the DA would have won the by-elections.
Maimane said he heard the IEC saying it was ready for the upcoming local government elections, but the organisation said the same in 2013 and irregularities still occurred in Tlokwe.
He however said the buck stopped with the party that was found to be in the wrong.
“We can say the IEC is not ready, but who cheated? Who bussed in the people? Who won the elections by manga manga business? It was the ANC. I say to them, we know you’re desperate, we know you don’t have a plan for the economy, we know you’re corrupt. We are not taking anything for granted. ”
Maimane called on party members to ensure the youth of the country registered to vote.
South Africans should not be fooled by politicians handing out food parcels, he added. “The ANC will come and give people KFC vouchers, social grants and deliver houses. Those are not ANC houses or grants, they belong to the South African government that all of us contribute to.” News24