Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘IEC making election rallies for Zuma outside every court’ – Malema

The IEC is committing silly mistakes' on certain issues, according to the EFF leader.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says he sees no point in the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) going toe-to-toe with former president Jacob Zuma over his candidacy.

After the Electoral Court upheld Zuma’s inclusion on the parliamentary list of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, the IEC took the matter to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt).

The ruling overturned the IEC’s objection to Zuma’s participation in the 2024 national and provincial elections.

Seeking clarity, the IEC has requested the ConCourt to interpret Section 47(1)(e) of the Constitution, which concerns the eligibility of convicted individuals to hold public office.

The MK party had contested the interpretation of this section.

Zuma vs IEC

Addressing the media on Friday, Malema said he was of the view that the IEC’s decision could lead to citizens questioning the commission’s credibility and sway focus away from the elections.

“We don’t see why the IEC is appealing Zuma judgment. It is really very personal. By doing that they are keeping [former] president Zuma in the news.

“By doing that, they are making Zuma gather rallies outside every court. So the court [rallies] are being organised by the IEC,” he told reporters.

The EFF leader said the IEC was committing “silly mistakes” on certain issues, citing the leaking of candidate lists as an example.

ALSO READ: IEC’s decision on Zuma creates an impression contrary to the reality – analyst

“Remember, we have got 110% confidence in the IEC, but they making many stupid mistakes in a year where the elections are highly contested.”

Malema claimed that he stressed the importance of this year’s elections to IEC chief electoral officer CEO Sy Mamabolo during a call.

“I said you can’t be doing what you are doing because this election is going to be the most difficult election.

“Once you mess up on the day, instead of rallying behind you, everyone is going to be listing [the mishaps]. So you can’t afford to make such horrible mistakes.”

Watch Malema’s engagement with the media below:

IEC ‘non-political’

The IEC has been accused of venturing into the political arena by approaching the ConCourt. According to Zuma, the commission’s job was to help citizens vote.

“Who the next president of the nation is is none of their business. They saw my name and now they are saying Zuma will never go there,” the former president said last week.

But President Cyril Ramaphosa defended the IEC over the weekend, saying the commission was “inherently non-political”.

“It is independent and we must defend its independence, just as we should defend the independence of our courts,” he said.

RELATED: IEC: Why did Electoral Court allow Zuma’s parliamentary candidacy?

The president also commented on MK party’s call for resignation of IEC commissioner, Janet Love.

“No individual or IEC official should be pointed out as having done this or that.

“It is the entire IEC commission that has taken a decision and the decision is based, as I have heard and understood it, on bringing clarity to the law so that the Constitutional Court, which is the repository or entity that should interpret our law, can give clarity once and for all,” Ramaphosa said.