Maimane: DA will do own checks on election rigging

2016-07-12 18:45
(Mpho Raborife, News24)

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance will not trust the Independent Electoral Commission to ensure there is no vote rigging, but train its own activists to prevent it, party leader Mmusi Maimane has said.

The IEC was slow to take action against those who broke the election rules, and sanctions did not deter parties, Maimane told journalists in Meyerton on Monday, on the side-lines of the party’s campaigning there.

He said the party did not condone the violence that broke out in Tshwane and Dobsonville recently.

“It worries me that you go to the IEC and say ‘this is the action’, and then the IEC says you first have to go through a whole rigorous process to report it.”

The party's posters had been removed in some areas in the DA-controlled Midvaal municipality. He did not say which party was responsible, but in Ward 10, where the DA was campaigning, only African National Congress posters were visible.

‘Teeth to actions’

When they reported people for removing posters, the IEC did not appear to do anything about it.

“People must be taken to task. We want free and fair elections. We will do whatever we can. We don’t sign these [election] pledges willy-nilly. We are not going to put up with it.”

He said the Constitutional Court’s June 14 judgment on the lack of addresses on the Tlokwe voters’ roll mentioned the busing in of voters, the handing out of food parcels and the use of state resources as part of the undermining the Electoral Act in that municipality.

“It is high time now that the IEC puts teeth to their actions and in fact deal with political parties that aren’t co-operating with the law,” he said.

“We will continue with the work that we do, and if they want to rig this election by hook or by crook, they will not succeed.”

He said the party was training “activists all across the country to make sure that they are ready for the elections. We will not take anything for granted.”

This training would involve checking that the IEC’s machinery worked.

The IEC said it would comment on the matter later.

Economic Freedom Fighters’ leader Julius Malema has accused the IEC of “rigging” elections in Alexandra in 2014 to favour the ANC.

The IEC has denied this and called a meeting with the EFF’s leaders to listen to their grievances.

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