Mashatile hints at election date

Deputy President Paul Mashatile. Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Deputy President Paul Mashatile. Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 18, 2024


South Africans will head to the polls on May 24, according to the country’s deputy president, Paul Mashatile.

In what looked like “a slippery of the tongue” but a deliberate move, Mashatile said ANC members should be prepared when they go out and canvass for the party.

“We must go out there, united with one common purpose, to ensure that come the 24 of May, when we go to the elections...” the deputy president said in a clip doing the rounds on social media.

As per the long-standing rule, the country’s president should announce the election date.

Various political parties have been calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to release the voting date. IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa is the latest to urge him to do so.

On Saturday, DA leader John Steenhuisen also called on the president to announce the election date at his party’s manifesto launch in Pretoria.

Ramaphosa was expected to announce the election date for the national and provincial by February 23, according to his spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) president Bantu Holomisa expressed happiness over Mashatile’s revelation.

“We thank God that he has exposed the bunch of crooks because he (Ramaphosa) wanted to take us by surprise. But it remains to be seen if Ramaphosa will confirm the date,” Holomisa said.

He said if the date was confirmed, it would demonstrate that the ANC was taking the approach of wait-and-see, evaluating if it had a chance of winning the elections or not.

“It’s a complicated exercise but we must truly thank God for the 'slippery of the tongue’,” he said.

African for Transformation Movement (ATM) leader Vuyo Zungula said the ANC was playing politics, adding that it was trying to play the game unfairly.

“The president was supposed to announce the election date during the State of the Nation Address. Then a day before it, his spokesperson announced that he would only do so in 15 days. Now we hear this,” said Zungula.

The ATM leader said the ANC’s game clearly demonstrated that it was not for the rule of law.

Zungula told The Star that the ATM was ready to contest the general elections despite the ANC’s mind games.

Attempts to get comment from the ANC’s national spokesperson, Mahlengu Bhengu-Motsiri, were unsuccessful.

The Star