‘Punish corrupt campaigning’

2014-03-04 00:00

POLITICAL parties whose members used acts of violence and other immoral means to campaign for elections deserved to be punished by voters at the polls.

The Independent Electoral Commission’s Bongani Finca urged traditional leaders, political parties, religious leaders and civil society to call on voters to punish political parties that speak the language of violence and immoral means to campaign for votes.

“We must act together on this,” Finca said.

He made the comments in Durban yesterday as KZN parties signed an electoral code of conduct to pledge their commitment to free and fair elections without intimidation or violence.

At the ceremony, the IEC announced that people had been hired on a contractual basis to work in various districts to alert the electoral body to incidents that are likely to turn into political violence.

All the parties sang from the same hymn book by pledging to abide by the code of conduct.

However, some raised concerns about teachers belonging to the ANC-aligned SA Democratic Teachers’ Union being appointed as electoral officers, and a request was made to traditional leaders to allow all parties to campaign freely in their areas.

Finca said the electoral body wanted to use the May 7 elections to showcase how the country has grown.

He also said they would use it to honour and pay homage to former president Nelson Mandela with a service befitting his stature.

The police’s Major-General Njabuliso Ngcobo made a commitment to ensure the elections were carried out without any violence or intimidation.

“We are convinced the 2014 elections will go well,” said Ngcobo.

Earlier he outlined the tightening up of law enforcement in the kwaMashu hostels until after the elections, following recent shooting incidents there.

The KZN House of Traditional Leaders chairperson, Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, said traditional leaders were available to ensure there was peace in the province.

“Let us speak peace. Let us ensure the province is peaceful,” he said.

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