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Elections ’24

Leaked recordings, election rigging and three-ballot system explained

Leaked recordings, election rigging and three-ballot system explained
The IEC’s job is to deliver free and fair election, not battle Jacob Zuma in court. Illustrative image: Jacob Zuma (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart) I South Africa map (Vector: I Scale: (Vector: Perhelion/Wikipedia)

This article originally appeared as an elections newsletter by Ferial Haffajee. Here, we break down everything you need to know before the big vote. This week, your top six need-to-knows include leaked recordings, election rigging, and a detailed breakdown of the three-ballot system.

1. Leaked recording: President Cyril Ramaphosa is nervous about the ANC’s chances

Sam Mkokeli reported on a leaked recording of a make-it-or-break-it ANC national executive committee meeting in the Sunday Times at the weekend. Ramaphosa entreated his executive leaders to get out on the road, showing that the ANC is nervous. Queenin Masuabi covered the same meeting. The ANC is eyeing a 57% majority but chances look slim, and the tone of Ramaphosa’s recording only made that clearer.

2. Election rigging impossible, says IEC boss

Lerato Mutsila reported here on a Wits School of Government briefing by Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa deputy chairperson Mosotho Moepya. The briefing was wide-ranging and worth a read: Moepya explained the process to ensure there is no ballot box rigging. He also said that while the IEC is in a legal battle at the Constitutional Court with MK party leader and former president Jacob Zuma (it asked the top court to clarify whether or not it decides on candidates standing or not), this cannot destabilise the election timetable or delay the poll. The ConCourt is expected to make an order this week.

3. An explainer on the three-ballot system

Former ANC MP and diplomat Melanie Verwoerd wrote this useful piece about how the three-ballot system works, pointing out that it needs a lot more explaining. [We agree, DM readers are emailing us too. Ed.]

4. In the toughest ward in Durban, MK and ANC go door to door. This is an elections ’24 Ground Zero hotspot

Chris Makhaye reported on how eThekwini’s Ward 101 is at the heart of the campaign for KZN. The province, along with Gauteng, is where the election outcome will be determined. The provinces have the highest number of registered voters, and are also the two provinces that will determine the ANC’s fortunes.

5. Daily Maverick is on the road. First stop: Pomfret

Rebecca Davis and Victoria O’ Regan got into the rugged Fords loaned to our reporters to tell the stories of Elections ’24. They headed to the forgotten town of Pomfret in the North West, home, of course, to apartheid’s once-feared 32 Batallion. It is a must-read.

6. You’re wrong about Patriotic Alliance, DM readers tell us

Last week, we ran this manifesto analysis of Gayton McKenzie’s Patriotic Alliance. [I have issues with how profoundly unconstitutional it is in several aspects. Ed.] But several DM readers replied, sending messages like this.

“Although I shall never vote PA, the following I agree with:

  • religion in schools,
  • deportation of illegals,
  • restrict trade unions,
  • the death penalty.”

Sign up to Elections ’24 newsletter here. DM


Daily Maverick has closed comments on all elections articles for the next two weeks. While we do everything in our power to ensure deliberately false, misleading and hateful commentary does not get published on our site, it’s simply not possible for our small team to have sight of every comment. Given the political dynamics of the moment, we cannot risk malignant actors abusing our platform to manipulate and mislead others. We remain committed to providing you with a platform for dynamic conversation and exchange and trust that you understand our need for circumspection at this sensitive time for our country.

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