Political parties divided over ‘vote rigging’ videos doing rounds on social media



Published May 26, 2024


Political parties have been left divided by the recent videos by uMkhonto weSizwe (MK Party) members alleging “vote rigging” was afoot at the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) centre in eThekwini.

While the IEC is reported to be contemplating measures against the MK Party and individuals present in videos of alleged vote-rigging at its eThekwini sites, political parties remain on opposite fences on the safety of the upcoming elections in the country.

Zwakele Mncwango, ActionSA KwaZulu-Natal chairperson, said they had seen the video circulating of what had happened in Hammersdale, Durban, and after engaging with the IEC the party understood what had really happened there.

Mncwango said in light of the recent events, ActionSA was calling on South Africans, especially those in the KZN province, to calm down as it was normal for the IEC to distribute ballots into safe areas.

He said unfortunately they had received information indicating that the police had left while the truck was still offloading the ballots, which was not wrong.

The party’s premier candidate said, however, it was important for political leaders to provide leadership and not cause panic and fuel fears of “vote rigging” taking place.

“Let’s not panic, there is no vote rigging happening here. As political parties we must be vigilant, but also let us be careful of not sending out information that creates fear for many people which may even lead to instability and disrupt our elections.”

He added: “Let’s trust the information we have received from the IEC. As ActionSA we have no reason to doubt what they have briefed us on. We are calling on all our members to calm down and make sure we focus and for party agents to remain vigilant about anything that goes against the rules of the elections.”

African Transformation Movement (ATM) president Vuyolwethu Zungula, on the other hand, called on all parties and South African citizens to guard the IEC for any potential vote rigging and election fraud, especially given that this was the most highly contested elections the country had ever seen.

Zungula warned South Africans to guard against the attitude of treating IEC officials as if they were ‘ “demi-gods” or people who were not corruptible.

“We need to get rid of such thinking that these people are infallible and start holding them accountable.

“We know in the past there were marked ballot papers that were found loitering in the streets, or thrown away, so we need every single incident to be reported and we need to make as much noise as possible to expose any form of wrongdoing on the side of the IEC.”

Zungula said although they were aware that there were incidents that were bound to take place with every election, they were dismayed that the IEC was seeking to downplay the seriousness of the incident and claiming this did not affect the materiality of elections, especially considering how there were no audit that would be done to determine the credibility of the results.

“If there was a widespread investigation done it would affect whether a party ends up having one seat, or is the main opposition or third biggest party.

“That is why we are calling for a thorough investigation of the incident and encourage all citizens to expose any wrongdoing they see. And IEC must account and be transparent.”

DA KZN premier candidate Chris Pappas said the party condemned the actions by the MK Party members in viral videos at IEC storage sites.

“The DA is also consulting our legal team on what possible legal steps may need to be taken to ensure the IEC and SAPS uphold their constitutional duty to hold free and fair elections.

“The DA will not allow or tolerate any political party that seeks to disrupt the elections on May 29, and calls on all voters to exercise their right to vote for the political party of their choice,” said Pappas. | Additional reporting by Ntombi Nkosi

The Star

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