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2024 ELECTIONS

IEC confirms Sunday poll results announcement amidst threats from Zuma’s MK party

IEC confirms Sunday poll results announcement amidst threats from Zuma’s MK party
Leader of the uMkhonto Wesizwe Party Jacob Zuma arrives at the IEC National Operations Centre in Midrand on 1 June 2024. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK) party is attempting to hold the country to ransom by threatening to challenge the announcement by the IEC of SA’s 2024 election results.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has asserted its authority and confirmed that it will announce the 2024 national and provincial election results by Sunday, as initially planned. This announcement came shortly after the uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK) party, led by disgraced former president Jacob Zuma, threatened that announcing the results would be a provocation, as it refuses to accept the final outcomes.

By around 10pm on Saturday, the capturing of the final results stood at 100%.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Elections Dashboard

“The commission will be ready to announce the results of these elections tomorrow [Sunday],” said IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya. “As you are well aware, South Africans are anxious that we complete this work and set them free to know the final outcomes of the elections. However, the completion of the capturing of the results does not mean the results are final.”

According to Moepya, the IEC is dealing with 579 objections. The IEC extended the deadline for objections to counting and capturing to 6pm on Saturday, 1 June.

This extension followed an urgent objection submitted by 17 political parties in the Western Cape under Section 55 of the Electoral Act. The parties jointly called for the objection period to be extended until 48 hours after the last ballot paper has been scanned and submitted for verification.

Read more on Daily Maverick: Appeal for calm as Electoral Commission extends objections deadline, tries to defuse counting debacle

There have been six general themes of objections, explained Moepya:

1.⁠ ⁠Someone filed an objection, but hasn’t had a chance to deal with the results.
2.⁠ ⁠Allegations filed by a third party regarding claims that votes were not recorded for a particular party.
3.⁠ ⁠Allegations under oath that votes were not recorded for a particular party, with an accompanying affidavit.
4.⁠ ⁠People asking about seat allocations and the kind of things you are going to consider.
5.⁠ ⁠People raising concerns about conduct of party agents or candidates during special voting or election day.
6.⁠ ⁠People raising issues affecting either the conduct or training of electoral officials.

Moepya said the commission is dealing with 24 recounts, but said these are not material enough to have an impact on the outcome of an election. 

The IEC announced that it has authorised edit windows to ensure any necessary changes are reflected on the results board, which may result in slight shifts on the leaderboard.

Jacob Zuma, continuing to cast doubt on the IEC and the integrity of the country’s election processes – processes that twice made him president – arrived at the National Operations Results Centre on Saturday night, greeted by a swarm of journalists. The MK party has alleged they possess evidence of election-rigging. They declined to provide this evidence when asked, hiding behind a planned court action. 

During a press conference led by party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela, the MK party claimed that an IT company interfered with the system during a two-hour glitch. “We have evidence of election-rigging,” said Ndhlela, fuelling further controversy and scepticism around the electoral process.

“We are contemplating a re-vote,” said Ndhlela. “We are going to request for a commission of inquiry into these elections.” 

Ndhela also made allegations that there were two men “picked” up by the police for their alleged involvement in the glitches of the IEC system. However, IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo said they were not aware of any such two people, either who are staff members or contracted to the commission. “We have checked with Natjoints if perhaps, to their end, they could be aware of such arrests. Even on their front, no knowledge has come to the fore about persons arrested.” 

EFF leader Julius Malema, in an earlier press conference, said they accepted the results despite not being complete. Malema said while there were objections, they held value in changing the results. The Inkatha Freedom Party and Mmusi Maimane’s Build One SA are some of the other parties that accepted the results. 

A number of other political parties with a poor showing in the polls – including the African Congress for Transformation, led by former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule; the South African Rainbow Alliance (Sara), led by former City of Joburg speaker Colleen Makhubele; and the Alliance of Citizens for Change, among other parties – did not accept the results. Makhubele said 20 other parties joined Zuma’s MK party in its call to challenge the results. 

She mentioned that the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) were among the larger parties supporting this effort.

However, both PA leader Gayton McKenzie and the ATM’s Vuyo Zungula have denied any involvement.

“No, never,” said McKenzie when asked about it. 

“We have submitted our objections,” Zungula told Daily Maverick. “Our NPLC member will advise how far that is in terms of resolving issues, then we will take it from there.” 

Jacob Zuma stood firm in his claims that there were discrepancies with the results and demanded that the IEC not make a declaration until their grievances have been resolved.

The MK party has been set on garnering a two-thirds majority. However, the party’s support stands at 14.6%. Said Zuma:

“In my view, SA had been deteriorating in what we envisaged it to be. I am worried now that there are wrong things that happened during counting by the institution which should handle this for us, guided by principle and laws.”

He warned that if the complaints are not dealt with before a declaration is made on Sunday, it would “provoke” the collective.

“Nobody must force us to accept the results, when the results are not fine. The institution needs to satisfy us. Nobody must declare tomorrow and, if it does, they will be provoking us. Do not start trouble when there is no trouble, give the political parties the opportunity to present their cases, do not rush us,” he said.

Speaking to Daily Maverick, UDM secretary-general Yongama Zigebe confirmed that they shared the same sentiments about the elections.

“The UDM has lodged an objection on the issues of Nelson Mandela Bay, Western Cape, where a recount has been called. We demand a proper investigation and a recount of the affected areas. As we joined the call for a recount, we learnt of other areas and provinces, and a recount is indeed needed,” he said. 

Xiluva’s Bongani Baloyi also confirmed that his party is firmly behind the recount. 

The IEC’s Moepya said they were not feeling under siege as “some of these things come with the territory. The Constitution requires of us that, to be a member of this commission, you must act without fear, without favour and without prejudice. We are determined to discharge our obligation as required by the Constitution.” 

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office confirmed that he will be present on Sunday when the official results are announced. DM

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