IEC flags candidates looking for jobs

By Odwa Mkentane Time of article published Oct 21, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has confirmed that 11 councillor candidates in the Western Cape have applied to work for the IEC during the elections.

Provincial electoral officer Michael Hendricks said the IEC had a process of information verification and confirmed the candidates would not be working for the the organisation citing its policies.

“We don't have the number of the candidates that have previously applied to be employed by IEC but we can confirm that 11 candidates have applied this year and we don't know if it has happened before.

“We have not engaged with the political parties they are representing or wrote a letter because these are individuals who have applied to IEC. The IEC will look into the matter but they will not be employed by IEC. At this stage we don't know the political parties they are representing or reveal their names and political parties,” said Hendricks.

More than 12 400 candidates will contest the local government elections in the Western Cape. This is a significant increase to contestation, in relation to the 7 263 in 2016. Among the candidates are 904 individuals under the age of 30.

Policy analyst and human rights activist Nkosikhulule Nyembezi explained that candidates were not allowed to hold two different office positions after they were elected into the office.

“The councillor candidates can not be employed by IEC. If it happens that an IEC employee decides to be a councillor candidate, once they are elected to be in the office they will be required to step down as an employee of IEC after maybe seven days in the office.

“No candidate can hold two office positions at the same time and that may cause a conflict of interest to a candidate. Usually the IEC employs people like teachers who are public servants, but even on that they verify if they are not holding any political positions or are candidates for any political parties.

“Obviously those candidates who have applied will be removed from IEC’s list,” said Nyembezi.

Cape Times

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