South Africa: Protest By Smaller Parties 'A Pity and Unfortunate', Says Mbalula

An IEC banner on voting day in Cape Town (file photo).

With political newcomers calling for a re-run of elections, claiming that the processes have not been free nor fair, the ANC believes that the elections have been above board, despite the glitches.

On Thursday evening, a number of political parties aired their grievances at the IEC's results operation centre.

The list of disgruntled parties include the African Content Movement (ACM), International Revelation Party (IRC), Ecoforum, Christian Political Movement (CPM), Black First Land First (BLF), the Land Party, and the African Transformation Movement (ATM), among others.

The parties also threatened legal action and said they would be lodging official grievances with the IEC, over issues that arose at the voting stations, including allegations of people who managed to vote twice.

African Transformation Movement's Mzwanele Manyi said he was not convinced that the elections results would be free and fair.

Speaking to News24 on Thursday evening, ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula said the protests by smaller parties were a pity and unfortunate, adding that the disgruntled parties should have approached the IEC through the party liaison committee to air their grievances.

He also questioned if the complaints, if valid, would materially affect the outcome of the election.

"So if Manyi wants us to re-run elections, does he think he will get a different thing that will actually give him an edge in probably winning these elections?" Mbalula told News24.

Meanwhile in a statement by the ANC, the ruling party expressed confidence that the IEC has put in place a robust system with safeguards to ensure that anyone who had any intentions to subvert the democratic system by committing acts of electoral fraud would face prosecution.

ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete said they supported the processes agreed on between the Party Liaison Committee and IEC to follow up on allegations made about voting irregularities.

He added that public reports suggest that the number of issues raised affected only a fraction of nearly 23 000 voting stations across the country.

"We wish in this regard to counsel caution and a sense of responsibility among all political parties and leaders, conscious of the fact that there are legal processes to deal with any disputes. More critically, we should be conscious of the consequences of reckless behaviour on society as a whole," Legoete said.

Noting instances where voters were not able to cast their vote due to protests or weather, Legoete said the ANC was satisfied that the vast majority of voters were able to cast their votes.

Source: News24

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