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Defend Our Democracy call on IEC and society to uphold the integrity of elections

‘Defend Our Democracy’ warn those planning protests on voting day to ensure safe passage for those wanting to go and vote.

Defend Our Democracy (DOD) has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to free, fair, and peaceful national and provincial elections on May 29.

DOD communications manager Andries Sibanyoni called on all sectors of society to pledge to uphold the integrity of the upcoming elections and in particular, appealed to independent candidates who are participating for the first time, including all political parties and those who may not be contesting, to do all they can to ensure the success of the elections.

Also read: IEC guarantees integrity in the upcoming elections

Addressing a media conference at the St George’s Anglican Church in Parktown, Sibanyoni urged all and sundry participating in the elections to adhere to the Electoral Code of Conduct which forbids any form of violence and intimidation and prevents signatories from abusing positions of power or privilege to influence electoral outcomes.

“By their nature, elections are meant to be fiercely contested by those running in them but this should not result in spurious disputes over the electoral results simply to cause chaos or to further political party agendas.

“We demand that political parties and independent candidates all put the interests of the country first. Our appeal to the South African electorate is to go out and vote and we urge employers to give those working on the day be given time off to go and vote.”

Also read: Political parties take part in elections dialogue at Wits

Sibanyoni said they looked forward to a good turnout on voting day in the more than 20 000 voting stations across the country and voters must in no way be prevented from casting their ballots due to protest action being planned on the day.

“We understand the rights of communities to protest to raise their issues, but at the same time, communities must stand together to ensure the right to vote is respected. The IEC must be alerted if voting is disrupted.”

Sibanyoni called on the IEC to also come to the party to protect the integrity and professionalism of the elections.

Also read: Local residents urged to voice their concerns ahead of elections

“The DOD recognises the strides made in transforming the country from its apartheid past to a constitutional democracy but we must also recognise that our democracy has been eroded through state capture, corruption and malfeasance.”

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