Don’t touch IEC. Don’t touch

2014-03-10 10:00

There is a symbiotic relationship between democracy and state institutions supporting constitutional democracy.

Our democratic order established three independent arms of state?–?an independent judiciary, the executive and Parliament.

With them, we established Chapter 9 institutions like the Public Protector and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Any act that undermines these institutions invariably undermines our democracy because they exist to support and strengthen our democracy.

As a nation, we must protect these institutions from any act that may erode their constitutionally sanctioned mandate.

As proof that the ANC does not appoint lapdogs, the Public Protector has probed even the highest office in the land without fear of any risk of unfair actions against her. But that does not mean the ANC does not have the right to differ, a right we fought for and a right that is part of our constitutional order.

The ANC will caution anyone or any party who vilifies the Public Protector or the IEC without regard to fair criticism as such pronouncements erode the integrity of these institutions.

The IEC is the bedrock of our democracy. As the Freedom Charter states: “No government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people.”

It is therefore imprudent to undermine the IEC, which has delivered free and fair elections over 20 years of democracy. Our democracy is so strong without civil conflicts over its legitimacy because the officers of these institutions have acted impartially across the political spectrum.

Recent populist challenges against the IEC stoke the fires that have engulfed developing countries?–?an outcome that does not serve the interests of our country nor the interests of democracy.

Anyone in our country has the right to challenge a decision, act or conduct by the Public Protector, the IEC or any institution without resorting to demeaning language that undermines the integrity of the people or officials who discharge the constitutional mandates of the institutions.

The ANC’s stance is two-pronged in such instances:?to defend the integrity of these institutions and the right of any individual or party to differ where their mandate has been overstepped.

The bottom line is that no one in society is above the Constitution and the law, which clearly spell out remedial avenues.

A good story we have as a country is a sound, fit democracy envied by other nations and which enables the unimpeded role by anyone who seeks to participate in the opportunities afforded by the democratic dispensation. No one should trample on this good story for the sake of political expediency.

Mthembu is the ANC spokesperson

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.