SA smaller parties lash out at IEC, call for rerun of the elections

Smaller parties at the IEC Results Operations Centre (ROC) in Pretoria have dismissed the 2019 general elections as not free and fair and are calling for a rerun of the polls.

The parties, including the African Transformation Movement (ATM), the Land Party (Land), the African Content Movement (ACM) and the Black First Land First (BLF), broke out in song and convened an impromptu press briefing.

They have raised issues around the processes of these elections, some of which the IEC have admitted to be investigating, as some of the reasons why they feel the elections were not free and fair. The group also complained about the IEC’s continued release of the results amid the admission there have been some glitches and arrests.

“The parties that are here are not convinced that the trajectory that we are on is going to deliver a free and fair election. We are saying there are quite a number of issues that have been raised by all of us that are here. All these issues have indeed been put to the attention of the IEC. For us, it is a critical issue, that the issue of the ink is undermining the credibility of the election,” says member of the ATM, Mzwanele Manyi.

The glitches, include among others, reports of the supposed indelible ink being able to be erased thus threatening the integrity of the process; the ballot papers boxes that were found on the side of the road; the late and non-opening of some voting stations and the non-inclusion of party agents in some processes at various voting stations.

BLF’s Deputy President, Zanele Lwana, has accused the so-called bigger parties of colluding to undermine the smaller parties.

“Over and above the overwhelming evidence that there has been irregularities governing these elections, there’s a clear political program to lead a government of national unity between political parties linked to the agenda of White Monopoly Capital, and these political parties are the ANC, DA and the Economic Freedom Fighters. What we are seeing here is a ridicule of parties aligned to an agenda of Radical Economic Transformation, of parties who have fashioned themselves to have confronted White Monopoly Capital,” she says.

Earlier, IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo announced the commission would urgently conduct an audit of the results and votes cast in a sample of voting stations, to establish whether double voting has occurred in some voting stations. This followed reports that some voters had been removing the indelible ink after voting, then returning to vote for the second time. Twenty people have been arrested for the crime.

Socialist Revolutionary Workers Spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, says the IEC cannot continue to release the results while they admit there have been procedural flaws.

“We have raised these issues directly with IEC officials, and to be frank their responses have been unsatisfactory. Even on the issue of this audit; at what point will we get the results? After the elections? So we are supposed to endorse this process when later on it can be found that it was a flawed process?”

Meanwhile, the IEC has said it expects to have released 90% of the elections results by 22h00 on Thursday.

The smaller parties have been the biggest losers in the elections with most of them unlikely to make it to Parliament.