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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: IEC says DA ‘misguided on how electoral process works’

The DA has come under severe criticism after writing a letter to the United States government over the upcoming general elections.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) says the Democratic Alliance (DA) is misguided when it comes to how the electoral process works.

The official opposition has come under severe criticism after writing a letter to the United States (US) government to intervene in this country’s upcoming national and provincial elections.

South Africans go the polls on 29 May in what is expected to be a hotly contested election since the dawn of democracy.

Watch IEC Chief Electoral officer Sy Mamabolo speaking about the DA’s letter

‘DA misguided’

In a letter addressed to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the DA claims the election is facing risks from Jacob Zuma’s MK Party and the ANC’s alliances with “malign international actors”.

IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said the DA’s letter is directly to an executive in another country.

“That’s not how ordinarily the observation process works. Often, the observation works at a multi-lateral level such as at an AU (African United) level, Sadc level, Commonwealth level and so on.

“All the role players need to be alive to the fact that the issues of the need to preserve the integrity of the democratic process in their respective countries,” Mamabolo said.

ALSO READ: US Embassy praises IEC’s ability to conduct free and fair elections

US praises IEC

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in South Africa has praised the IEC’s ability to run free and fair elections in the country after the DA’s letter to the Blinken cast a call on the IEC’s ability to run the national and provincial elections.

US Embassy spokesperson David Feldmann told The Citizen the IEC had an “excellent reputation”.

“South Africa is a sovereign democracy that runs its own electoral processes. The Independent Electoral Commission has a longstanding and excellent reputation for conducting free and fair elections.”

Other letters

Earlier, the DA shadow Minister for International Relations, Emma Louise Powell, said the party’s decision to reach out to the US to intervene in the upcoming national and provincial elections was not meant to cast doubt on the IEC ability to run the elections.

Powell said the DA request was not only made to the US but to nations across the “global north and south” including Zambia and to the African Union (AU).

ALSO READ: WATCH: DA says US letter not meant to undermine IEC’s ability to run elections

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