The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has noted with concern the conduct of some African National Congress (ANC) members at one of the commission’s registration centres at Kwa-Dambuza in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.
Some ANC members were seen trying to block Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema from entering the station and monitoring the voters’ registration process.
The conduct was decried by both Malema and ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“We are going to lodge a complaint with the IEC. The IEC leadership is here. I’ve seen the lady of the IEC filming the whole incident. We are going to complain, definitely. This is unacceptable. The ANC must be disqualified, particularly in this ward, for conducting themselves in the manner they did,” said Malema.
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The EFF leader is seething with anger and vowed to lodge a complaint with IEC after being denied access to the commission’s registration centre in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.
He has accused the ANC of being intolerant and trying to create what he calls some no-go-areas for its opposition.
“I am here to do my work and if they want to do anything let them do it. There is no way that I’m going to be intimidated by anyone. I am here to do my work. The ANC is being intolerant. Why are they intolerant? I do not know who said there should be no-go areas, that can’t be. There will never be a place where there is a no-go area. We are going everywhere and there is no one who is going to block us. We campaign everywhere. The ANC campaigns everywhere. We never stop them. Why are they stopping us,” said Malema.
Compliant not yet received
IEC Vice-Chairperson Jeanette Love says they have not received the EFF’s complaint but insists the leader of the red beret has a legitimate concern.
“We have not at this stage received a complaint and on receipt of such a complaint, we will deal with it accordingly, suffice to say however that to the extent that there had been any attempt by the ANC to try to prevent the EFF from accessing any area, there is a legitimate ground for the EFF to lodge a complaint. We would not take that as something other than being very serious. This is a country where everybody should have the right to contest freely and have the right to access every community in order to express what is that the party is hoping to do and to deliver.”
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Ramaphosa decried the behaviour of some of his members insisting that there has to be political tolerance amongst different political parties ahead of the 1 November polls.
“There should not be any political clashes, the ANC comrades know that we should allow all political parties to campaign anywhere; we must never stop any political party from campaigning.”
Meanwhile, the IEC says the process of dealing with the complaint will only be clarified after receiving the EFF complaint.