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ELECTIONS ’24

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela answers three key election questions

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela answers three key election questions
Illustrative image | source: EPA-EFE / Caroline Blumberg)

This article originally appeared as an elections newsletter by Ferial Haffajee. Here, we break down everything you need to know before the big vote. In this edition, we asked IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela to answer three crucial election questions, and we share the most important election information you need to know this week.

1. What happens to the additional votes an independent candidate may get?

If an independent candidate obtains votes that entitles them to more than one seat, that candidates’ additional seat is forfeited. For more, see here.

2. Will there no longer be a National Council of Provinces? (This relates to one of the ballots now being called a regional ballot.)

The word “region” has no bearing on the National Council of Provinces. The regional ballot will have political parties and independents contesting for the seats reserved for each region in the National Assembly, which make up to 200 (seats). Voters will use this ballot to elect a political party or an independent to represent them in the national Parliament.

3. Why are people convicted and sentenced for crimes longer than a year (like Gayton McKenzie and Marius Fransman) standing for election?

Section 47 (e) of the Constitution states that every citizen qualified to vote for the National Assembly is eligible to be a member of the Assembly, except “anyone who, after this section took effect, is convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment without the option of a fine, either in the Republic, or outside the Republic if the conduct constituting the offence would have been an offence in the Republic, but no one may be regarded as having been sentenced until an appeal against the conviction or sentence has been determined, or until the time for an appeal has expired. A disqualification under this paragraph ends five years after the sentence has been completed”.

Here are the most important things you need to know this week:

Newsflash: The Constitutional Court has ruled:

  • That former President Jacob Zuma is not eligible to stand as a candidate in the 29 May election.
  • But will be eligible to stand in five years from the completion of his sentence, which is around September 2027.
  • That the IEC is empowered to determine before an election whether a candidate is eligible – this is the reason the IEC went to Court.
  • That allegations of bias against Commissioner Janet Love were unfounded.
  • That a remission of sentence (which benefited the former head of state) does not alter a sentence imposed by a court.
  • That Zuma has the right to appeal to the ConCourt. (This basically means Zuma can only be put forward as a candidate from September 2027, five years after his sentence would have ended – he will be 85. Ed.)

ANC’s RET faction moves lock, stock and X account to Jacob Zuma’s MK party

Suné Payne reports on a groundbreaking piece of research from Daily Maverick partner the Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change. It shows how the RET accounts which were the powerful social faction for the State Capture era have migrated en masse to the MK party.

Cyril Ramaphosa still holds the key to ANC election outcome

Marianne Merten reports here on a new survey by the University of Johannesburg, which showed that President Cyril Ramaphosa is still key to the ANC’s outcome at the 29 May elections.

Small number of Saffas registered to vote

Only 78,000 South Africans living abroad registered to vote. That’s less than a seat if they all turned out to vote last weekend. What it tells you is that most people don’t retain tight civic links once they leave SA. Here is where people registered:

Read more in Daily Maverick: Tears, cheers and beers as South Africans in their thousands cast their ballots in the Netherlands

Sign up to Elections ’24 newsletter here. DM

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