Case against IEC official found with ballot boxes postponed

Published Jun 28, 2024


Durban — The case against Musawenkosi Mnikathi, the lone Electoral Court of South Africa (IEC) official charged with election misconduct, was postponed to July 2 in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday.

There were few uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court. This was in contrast to Wednesday, when thousands of MKP supporters marched to the court, camouflage-clad and chanting revolutionary songs.

Reggie Ngcobo, MKP leader in the Moses Mabhida region, said the case against Mnikathi was the strongest proof that the elections were rigged.

“We are glad that the official is in court so that he will explain how the network of vote rigging went in the province and nationwide,” said Ngcobo.

Mnikathi was arrested in Plessislaer after he was allegedly found with ballot boxes without supervision.

On Thursday, the court ruled that the case would be heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court when it resumes on July 2.

Ngcobo said the case would expose the alleged irregularities that marred the elections and hampered the MKP’s prospects in its stronghold of KwaZulu-Natal and nationally.

“If the processes were not flouted, we would be the government in the province. But everything was done to block us from becoming the governing party despite millions of people voting for us in the elections. We have more cases that we will be bringing to court,” Ngcobo said.

MKP secretary-general Arthur Zwane agreed.

“The fact remains that we were robbed during the elections. We still maintain that the system was manipulated to keep the MK Party out of power despite millions of South Africans voting for us.”

The MKP scored 45% of votes in KwaZulu-Natal, becoming the biggest party, with 37 seats in the 80-member Provincial Legislature.

Nationally, the Jacob Zuma-led party stunned naysayers after bagging 58 seats in the National Assembly out of 400, making it the third-biggest party.

But despite faring well in KZN, the party was locked out of government by the IFP-ANC-DA and NFP coalition.

MKP launched a fresh court bid last week following the first sitting of the Provincial Legislature in KZN that elected Premier Thami Ntuli. The party alleged that the sitting was riddled with a string of irregularities and the flouting of processes.

Srinivasen Vardarajulu Naidoo, chairperson of the non-profit organisation Real Democracy, also opened a separate case over the alleged procedural and legal violations during the first sitting.

Since the results of the May 29 elections were declared, the MKP has been feuding with the IEC, accusing it of rigging the election. The party alleged that 9.3 million votes were unaccounted for and vowed to haul the IEC to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands.

Despite crying foul over the fairness of the elections, 58 MKP MP were sworn in on Tuesday. However, the party stressed that this should not be interpreted as them agreeing with the results as declared by the IEC.

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