IEC leak ‘not a security breach’

IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo. Picture: Jacques Naude/Independent Newspapers

IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo. Picture: Jacques Naude/Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 12, 2024


The Electoral Commission (IEC) says dismissing the employee implicated in the leaking of the ANC and uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) candidate lists demonstrates its commitment to transparency and accountability.

The IEC said the employee from one of its local offices had rights to access the system and reports but was not authorised to distribute or circulate the information.

While the motive for leaking the lists will be pursued as part of the ongoing investigation, IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said any behaviour that violated the body’s code of conduct or undermined the credibility of the organisation could not be tolerated.

“While this incident is regrettable, our actions demonstrate our commitment to transparency and accountability. The Electoral Commission maintains the highest level of integrity, ethics, and professionalism. The Electoral Commission reiterates its commitment and readiness to deliver a credible 2024 national and provincial elections,” said Mamabolo.

The ANC said: “We are pleased to learn that this was not a result of a security breach, but rather the neglectful conduct of an individual. The conduct of the implicated official has jeopardised the personal details of all the individuals on our candidate list. We urge all the appropriate authorities to swiftly address this matter. The ANC reiterates our full confidence in the IEC to deliver yet another free, fair election.”

Chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs Mosa Chabane said beyond contravening the Protection of Personal Information Act, the unauthorised circulation of the lists undermined the clearly set out election timetable and processes of the 2024 provincial and national elections.

“We remain of the view that the IEC is a credible institution to run a free and fair process and that anything that endangers this process will be quickly investigated and concomitant action taken,” Chabane said.

He called on the IEC to strengthen its internal controls and to imprint on its staff members the need to conduct themselves ethically to protect the institution’s integrity.