Fewer ANC-aligned union members involved in elections - IEC

2016-02-16 13:52


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Parliament – Only a small percentage of IEC staff during the local government elections would be civil servants, parties were assured in Parliament on Tuesday.

This after opposition parties again urged the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to stop using members of an ANC-aligned teachers union as election staff.

Parties including the Democratic Alliance, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Economic Freedom Fighters had raised concerns about potential bias on the part of union members.

The IEC was briefing Parliament's home affairs committee on their readiness for the 2016 elections.

IFP MP Sibongile Nkomo said it was worrying having people who were publicly aligned to the ruling party working within the IEC during a crucial time.

Her concerns were echoed by DA MP Mohammed Haniff Hoosen and EFF MP Hlengiwe Hlophe.

ANC MP Donald Gumede said this could, however, be seen as unfair discrimination as it would also affect other unions, including Congress of the South African Trade Unions.

IEC Deputy Chairperson Terry Tselane said they had listened to party concerns and had over the years decreased the number of civil servants working as IEC officials.

"We can't as a commission discriminate against any member participating in the electoral process. However, having listened to the concerns, we decided to do something about it to minimise the numbers."

He said they had gone from using 99% of civil servants during election time to only using about 8%.

Tselane said, in instances where they had no choice but to use teachers, their names were submitted to the party liaisons in those specific areas so they could raise any issues they had.

Read more on:    iec  |  local elections 2016  |  politics

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