Avatar photo

By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

‘Come 24 May, or somewhere around there’ – IFP warns ANC against holding elections on Friday

The last two elections were held on Wednesday during the second week of May. 

Inkatha Freedom Front (IFP) national spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, has warned the African National Congress (ANC) against holding elections on a Friday as this could have a negative impact on vote turnout.

This comes after Deputy President Paul Mashatile recently told a crowd: “We must go out there, united with one common purpose, to ensure that come the 24th of May, or somewhere around there, when we go to the elections…”

ALSO READ: Expect Ramaphosa’s announcement on election date within 15 days – Presidency

Whether this was a slip of the tongue on Mashatile’s part or deliberate is debated as political parties voice their concerns over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s silence on the date.

On 7 February, Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said Ramaphosa would announce the date in 15 days.

“If you count from tomorrow, the president will announce the election within 15 days,” he said.

This gives Ramaphosa until Thursday to make the much-awaited announcement.

ALSO READ: IEC seeks to finalise preparations as Ramaphosa urged to announce 2024 election date

The elections must be held within 90 days of the end of the term of the current Parliament, on 3 May 2024.

“The National Assembly is elected for a term of five years. If the National Assembly is dissolved in terms of section 50, or when its term expires, the President, by proclamation must call and set dates for an election, which must be held within 90 days of the date the Assembly was dissolved or its term expired,” reads the Constitution.

“A proclamation calling and setting dates for an election may be issued before or after the expiry of the term of the National Assembly.”

The IFP is already challenging the 24 May date, and hopes the date “somewhere around the 24th”, as announced by Mashatile, will be the 29th.

Hlengwa addressed IFP supporters at the weekend.

He said: “President Cyril Ramaphosa, release the election date, because we are ready to make the change for ourselves. Why are you afraid? Elections may take place on the 24th of May. We do not support a Friday because they cause voter suppression. They are deliberately trying to stifle the vote turnout to prevent people to go to vote by creating a long weekend,” said Hlengwa.

ALSO READ: ‘Give the president time and space’ – Ntshavheni says SA must not rush for election date

“Every time we have elections in South Africa they circulate on a Wednesday in order to maximise voter turnout. We are warning the ANC to refrain from preventing people from going to the elections. Elections on a Friday will not work, in fact, I challenge the ANC to hold the elections on the 29th May.”

The last two were held on Wednesday during the second week of May. 

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits