Recent elections exposed IEC bias

IEC boss Sy Mamabolo is flanked by Janet Love, vice-chairperson and Nomsa Masuku, commissioner, during a media briefing
IEC boss Sy Mamabolo is flanked by Janet Love, vice-chairperson and Nomsa Masuku, commissioner, during a media briefing
Image: Masi Losi

Please allow me to voice my feelings about the Independent Electoral Commission of SA. The recent elections have revealed the true colours of this body.

In 2011, the IFP failed to register candidates for the south coast of KZN and parts of Mpumalanga and they had no representation in those wards. In 2016, the NFP was excluded from the local government elections because they failed to pay the registration fee on time.

In this past elections Herman Mashaba’s newly formed party (Action SA) was portrayed on the ballot by party emblem only, with no abbreviated name, as the electoral body was adamant that it was the party’s duty to submit their shortened label to them. Come 2021 when the ANC failed to register many of its candidates across the country.

Then we see an electoral body which is heartily ready to correct that blunder, belatedly registering the ruling party’s unregistered candidates. I grant that given the number of candidates involved, their exclusion would have distorted the electoral picture had the voting continued without them. Could not the same be said about barring the IFP from fielding some candidates in 2011 and the NFP fully not featuring in the 2016 election?

To a layperson, the disputes cited were avoidable if the electoral body had an enabling attitude, not a heartless and insincere one. Discretion won the day when the ANC were the offender, but the IEC proved headstrong when the other parties committed a similar offence. To the IEC size and identity do matter and they influence their stance and application of the rules.

These elections have shown that the electoral body is serving the governing party and not the citizenry. This assertion has merit as the capture of the state seeks to further the interests of the governing party and its members.

Themba Motaung, White City Jabavu, Soweto

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