Claiming IEC is ANC’s lapdog is disingenuous – Gwede Mantashe

2014-08-13 20:19

The ANC has defended the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) following claims by DA leader Helen Zille that the institution was in danger of becoming another ruling party “lapdog”.

“The IEC has since 1994 delivered to South Africans credible, free, fair and transparent elections,” said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe today.

“Notwithstanding the baseless attack on it by the DA and other political parties recently, and in the run-up to the 2014 general elections, the IEC continues to be acclaimed for its capability and professionalism.”

On Monday, Zille questioned the ability of the IEC to run free and fair municipal elections in 2016.

“[The] Independent Electoral Commission itself – once one of our most robust independent state institutions – is under serious threat of becoming another ANC lapdog,” she said in her weekly newsletter.

Zille said the results of this year’s national and provincial elections showed the ANC was vulnerable in three Gauteng metropolitan municipalities, and even more so in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, centred in Port Elizabeth.

“Suddenly, after May, four more metros – in addition to Cape Town – are in play for 2016. In Gauteng, the ANC is looking extremely vulnerable in the province’s three metros: Johannesburg (52.3 percent), Tshwane (49.3 percent) and Ekurhuleni (55 percent),” she said.

Mantashe said the absence of any substantive and factual complaints, including from DA itself, was evidence of its impartiality in conducting its oversight of elections.

He said the recent attack on the integrity of the IEC was unfounded.

“The attempt to link the IEC to the ANC is disingenuous. The IEC has served the people of South Africa with distinction over the past 20 years, doing so in a manner that is universally accepted as non-partisan,” said Mantashe.

“The irony is that the only Commissioner in the IEC with clear politician affiliation is Reiner Taljaard, a former DA MP and former CEO of Helen Suzman Foundation,” he added.

Mantashe said it was also ironic that Zille attacked the Municipal Demarcation Board for being partisan.

“She suffers from selective amnesia and forgets that the Municipal Demarcation Board has often found in favour of the DA, including in Midvaal,” he said.

Zille accused the ANC of deploying cadres in the Municipal Demarcation Board to merge Midrand – the only DA-run municipality in Gauteng – with surrounding ANC-dominated municipalities.

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