Parties taking IEC to court

South Africa - Johannesburg - 31 May 2024 - Vote2024 - The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chairperson Mosotho Moepya speaking at the National Results Operations Centre (ROC), Gallagher convention centre. Picture: Itumeleng English/Independent Newspaper

South Africa - Johannesburg - 31 May 2024 - Vote2024 - The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chairperson Mosotho Moepya speaking at the National Results Operations Centre (ROC), Gallagher convention centre. Picture: Itumeleng English/Independent Newspaper

Published Jun 2, 2024


For the first time in 30 years, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has been slapped with court papers to set aside the 2024 election results, declared at the Results Operations Centre in Midrand last night.

Various political parties that contested in the elections have teamed up to challenge the outcome as null and void.

Leading the charge is former president Jacob Zuma's uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) with among other smaller parties the African Congress for Transformation (ACT) led by Ace Magashule, a former ANC secretary-general who also started a splinter party.

The Star can reveal that the political parties have teamed up to file the court papers by Monday morning.

However, the governing ANC speaking at a media briefing on Sunday, said they would be meeting on Monday to discuss the possibilities of court action.

The party’s secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, admitted that the MKP had caught them off-guard.

"We, as the ANC, are going to meet on Monday in order to analyse the phenomenon of the MK Party in Mpumalanga and KZN.

“We have got to analyse the Zuma phenomenon as it goes back to that deep analysis that we as the ANC are going to conduct. We can’t do that if we start blaming structures," said Mbalula.

When it comes to the impact the MKP and the Zuma factor had on the ultimate results, Mbalula said in spite of certain projections, the governing party had under- estimated his impact on the election results.

"We knew Zuma would get support, but not this much. Our biggest worry was the IFP in KZN and the posture other royal houses had taken as it was moving away from us and entered politics by aiding and abetting the IFP, and as we went into the elections everyone wanted us down, including the media,“ said Mbalula.

The IEC has confirmed that it has received more than 579 objections submitted by the various political parties who allege election fraud and rigging of elections.

Addressing yet another press briefing on Saturday, IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya revealed that the objections covered six different themes, with indications suggesting that these could increase as the investigation continues.

“The IEC has received 579 objections and I am saying 579 in quotes because of the general themes of this tally. This number, 579, may increase because there may be others we may have to work on. As a matter of fact, at the time we were preparing to come here, all those submissions that were given until 6pm were still going to be compiled. There are six general themes encapsulated in these objections that we have noticed,” he said.

Instead of a recount, the MKP alongside 22 other opposition political parties including, Cope, Sara and many others have called for a rerun of the elections following more than 300 objections raised against the IEC and its handling of the polls.

The MKP accused the commission of electoral fraud and deliberate rigging of the elections, with the party saying it was in possession of various pieces of evidence to prove its claim.

The party also called for a commission of inquiry into the elections.

This was revealed by party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela, who addressed the media during Zuma’s special visit at the IEC results centre in Midrand.

Zuma arrived to a media frenzy at the national results centre with scores of local and international scribes jostling for positions to capture his arrival.

He had to be escorted to a private room before the press briefing.

Meanwhile, the party confirmed it has since submitted evidence to the IEC.

“We want to get to the bottom of exactly what transpired and we are going to push for that. It stops with the MK. It stops with President Zuma,” Ndhlela said in an impromptu press briefing on Saturday that was attended by members of the party’s leadership, including Zuma.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in declaring the elections free and fair at the results centre on Sunday evening, urged all political parties that would be in coalition to work together to improve people’s lives.

“Throughout the campaign the parties have held fast on the fundamental principles of the Constitution ...

“We must find a common ground to overcome our differences in the good of the people,” he said.

Ramaphosa also thanked the SAPS, SANDF and the Department of Home Affairs for ensuring that voting was conducted peacefully.

“As the 2024 election reaches its conclusion, we thank the staff and leadership of the Independent Electoral Commission, who have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of these elections, often under difficult conditions.

“As the leaders of political parties, as all those who occupy positions of responsibility in society, we have heard the voices of our people and we must respect their wishes.

“Over the past 30 years, we have strived together to build a country which everyone – black and white, men and women, young and old – can call home.

“This election has reaffirmed that building a South Africa for all remains the defining mission of our nation.

“During the election campaign, parties and candidates have at times differed, often forcefully.

“They have expressed a wide variety of views that are often at odds with each other.

“This is a welcome and necessary feature of a robust democracy,” Ramaphosa said.

The Star