Buthelezi blasts electoral commission

2011-04-02 13:18

IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi has used his party’s local government election manifesto launch in Durban to take a swipe at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) over the voter registration process and special votes.

Addressing several thousand IFP supporters at Lindelani north of Durban, a long-standing IFP stronghold, Buthelezi said the IFP had witnessed electoral fraud and irregularities in every election since 1994 “aimed at swaying the balance of power further towards the ANC’’.

“We have engaged the Independent Electoral Commission on these matters, and exposed how the ANC buses people into areas in which they do not live to register and vote for the ANC. In this way, IFP strongholds appear to receive increasing ANC support,’’ Buthelezi said.

He said that in 2009 more people had voted in Durban than were even registered in first place and claimed election results “have been declared in the past before counting has even been completed”.

“The ANC has crippled smaller parties in the past, and it intends to cripple the IFP,” he said.

He said while elections over the past 17 years had been free and fair they had not been without incidents of fraud.

IEC chief executive, Pansy Tlakulu, admitted such at the launch of this round of elections, Buthelezi added.

“Since 1994 we have seen incidents of violence, intimidation, buying of votes, brown envelope journalism and fraudulent registration. At the IEC Leaders’ Summit I tabled my unhappiness over the fact that complaints about fraud at each election have never been addressed by the IEC.

“Quite often we are told that we did not present the complaint at the right time, or one or the other technical reason is given to explain why the IEC is hamstrung to investigate our complaints,” he claimed.

Buthelezi also claimed that the ANC had registered more than 400 people from Umlazi and KwaMashu at Umhlanga during the February and March registration drives but that the IEC had failed to intervene.

He said the IEC should have used Section 8 of the Local Government Municipal Electoral Act to postpone voting day until his complaint had been addressed.

Changes to the regulations around special votes, he said, would allow for massive acts of electoral fraud.

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