IEC must act against violent parties - EFF

2016-06-08 17:38
IEC voting station. (Elmarie Jack, News24)

IEC voting station. (Elmarie Jack, News24)

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Pretoria - The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) must take violent parties to task to ensure that the local government elections are free and fair, the EFF said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told reporters that the party had faced violence and intimidation in parts of the country during its campaigning for the August 3 elections.

He urged the IEC to take action against those behind the violence.

"The only party that is receiving violence is really the Economic Freedom Fighters. We have seen in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal that the ANC has grown very intolerant and that intolerance is being expressed with gunshots and physical violence," Ndlozi said.

He said an ANC member had shot at an EFF member who was distributing flyers at a Polokwane taxi rank.

Ndlozi said the IEC should not only get involved in the election process on the day of voting.

Road barricaded

"It can't just sit comfortably in these air-conditioned offices and hope the elections out there will be free and fair. They have to have observers, file cases and go for those people who are violating people's freedom of assembly, people's freedom of expression," he said.

On Sunday, ANC supporters barricaded with burning tyres and rocks a road leading to a venue in Pietermaritzburg, where EFF president Julius Malema was scheduled to deliver a speech.

Stones were thrown at the police and EFF supporters.

"Malema is not going to enter this area," said an ANC supporter.

Police later restored calm.

ANC not taken to task

In Mpumalanga, EFF marshal Senzo Thwala was shot in the leg when he tried to prevent a man he said was wearing an ANC T-shirt from entering the KaMaqhekeza stadium in KaMaqhekeza (formerly Naas) outside Komatipoort, a News24 correspondent reported.

The ANC had distanced itself from the shooter.

Ndlozi said the IEC had to step in and deal with the violence. It had not taken the ANC to task at all, he said.

Deputy IEC chairperson Terry Tselane said the freeness and fairness of the elections would be determined by the political landscape. The only way to address issues was through democratic means, he said.

Violent protests and the murders of people wanting to contest the elections had raised serious questions, he said, and both needed to be stopped before they got out of control.

Read more on:    anc  |  iec  |  eff  |  mbuyiseni ndlozi  |  politics 2016  |  local elections 2016

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