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By Carien Grobler

Deputy Digital Editor

Zuma’s MK party ‘profoundly disappointed’ in electoral process

The MK party said the IEC showed a lack of competence.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party is again calling for the resignation of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) Commissioner Janet Love.

“The MK party calls for the resignation of Janet Love over the mismanagement and chaos that ensued throughout the election process and election day,” the party said in a statement on Thursday morning.

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“The MK party is profoundly disappointed by the manner in which the IEC has mismanaged the ongoing electoral process by undermining the constitutional rights of all South Africans to freely choose their government.”

Changes to the Electoral Act

According to the MK party, the IEC showed a lack of competence by failing to communicate critical changes to the Electoral Act, specifically Section 24, which restricts voters to casting their ballots only in the districts where they initially registered.

“This change was poorly communicated merely days before the elections, leading to widespread confusion and disenchantment among the electorate.”

The party went on to say that such missteps not only compromise the electoral process but also frustrated voters whose primary concern is “a change towards a better life from the pains of the Ramaphosa-ANC”.

Long queues at voting stations

The MK party was also displeased with the extensive queues at voting stations.

“This resulted from the malfunctioning of IEC tools and systems, notably the scanners. Some individuals were unjustly threatened with denial of their right to vote despite IEC assurances that all registered individuals present in queues by 21:00 would be allowed to cast their ballots.”

Unexpected ‘load shedding’

Adding to the chaos, the party said, was the unexpected lack of electricity in several areas which jeopardised the safety and integrity of ballot boxes and papers.

“This gives credence to the disturbing allegations that have been surfacing a few days prior to the elections, including incidents where individuals purportedly affiliated with the ANC were apprehended by MK party members in possession of ballot papers – some even found in residences and local shops.”

MK party not surprised at ‘incompetence’

According to the party, these issues experienced at voting stations, despite self-praise from the IEC, is unprecedented since the onset of the South African democracy.

“However, we are not surprised, because instead of the IEC focusing on running free and fair elections, Love and her officials … placed their efforts on the persecution of the MK party and president Zuma. We maintain our position that Love, acting under the influence of President [Cyril] Ramaphosa, and using the IEC, aims to skew the electoral outcome in favour of the ANC. This has eroded public trust in the electoral process and poses serious risks to the credibility and independence of the Electoral Commission.”

The party now calls for the resignation of the current IEC leadership “for putting a once credible institution such as the IEC in disrepute with the sole aim of keeping Ramaphosa in power”.

ALSO READ: MK party calls for immediate resignation of IEC Commissioner Janet Love

Previous call for IEC’s Love to be removed

After Love announced in April that the IEC decided to disqualify Zuma from the 2024 national and provincial elections, his party turned to the Electoral Court. The court overturned the IEC’s decision which allowed Zuma to be on the ballot.

The party then called for Love to be removed, as it believes she is a “loyal serving member of the ANC and a close confidante of Ramaphosa”.

The MK party added that Love’s announcement was premature and in violation of IEC rules which stipulate that such declarations can only be made following an official objection.