The Patriotic Alliance (PA) has refuted allegations of intimidation levelled against it by the DA after men in PA shirts were seen carrying weapons during voter registration in Eerste River at the weekend.
According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), day two of the second registration weekend ahead of the 2024 national and provincial elections went well.
At the close of registration on Saturday, more than half a million registrations were recorded at 23 303 voting stations and by 1pm on Sunday a total of 564 715 registrations had been recorded at voting stations across the country.
“(On) Saturday, the commission recorded 67 200 online registration transactions. “Today the figure of online registrations stands at 34 293. We urge voters whose access to our online facility is delayed by high traffic to be patient,” the IEC said.
In the Western Cape, DA MP and representative Werner Horn said they had reported incidents of alleged intimidation to provincial electoral officers after armed men in PA shirts were seen outside a voting station.
Horn said the firearms were automatic weapons.
“This kind of intimidating behaviour is unacceptable and has no place in a democratic society.
“The DA takes a strong stand against any actions that compromise the safety and well-being of voters and undermine the democratic process.
“It is imperative that swift and decisive action is taken to address these matters in accordance with the law and the electoral code.
“The DA is committed to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process and will continue to report any incidents of political intimidation to the IEC.
“If these issues are not promptly addressed by the provincial electoral officers, the DA is prepared to escalate the matter to the chief electoral officer of the IEC,” said Horn.
PA national spokesperson Steve Motale said the DA was desperate for attention and was obsessed with their party instead of focusing on its “dwindling support”.
“The people in question are members of the PA security detail who guard party president Gayton McKenzie everywhere he goes. They are trained security personnel. This is nothing new since president McKenzie often visits places that are volatile and high risk and the guards are trained and fully licensed.
“Other politicians, particularly those from the DA, refuse to enter the kinds of high-risk areas that the PA campaigns instead of focusing on its “dwindling support”.
“The weapons in question are not automatic weapons. We hardly ever agree with the DA on anything, and particularly disagree on this one. No one has threatened anyone at any point,” said Motale.
He said if an actual threat occurred to any individual or group, the DA must produce concrete proof of this.
The IEC did not confirm whether it was probing the complaint by deadline on Sunday.