IEC: Elections will be violence-free

The IEC says it will have ongoing talks between the ANC and the DA ahead of the elections.

This year's general elections will take place on 7 May. Picture: www.elections.org.za.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says despite the violence that played out in central Johannesburg during the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s jobs march yesterday, the general elections will be violence free.

Yesterday's march turned into show of political force on the streets of Johannesburg between the African National Congress (ANC) and the DA with police firing stun grenades to prevent clashes between the two parties.

Four people, believed to be affiliated to the ruling party, were arrested during the demonstration and will be charged with public violence.

The IEC's CEO Mosotho Moepya says while the organisation can't uphold the law, it can promote tolerance.

Moepya says the IEC plans to have ongoing talks between both parties.

"We will certainly be talking to both parties behind the scenes."

Moepya says elections are essentially contests and there will always be differences between the various parties.

But he adds this doesn't mean differences can deteriorate into violence.

Last week, President Jacob Zuma announced that this year's general elections would be held on 7 May, but he has yet to proclaim the date, meaning the voters' roll will remain open.

South Africans can still register, but will have to do so at the IEC offices located in every municipality in the country.