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Record number of parties to contest polls

IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula says 33 political parties have registered to contest the 7 May polls.

IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula says 33 political parties have registered to contest the 7 May polls. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A record number of political parties will contest the upcoming general elections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) confirmed on Wednesday.

IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula facilitated the signing of the electoral code of conduct in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.

Political parties pledged to abide by IEC regulations.

Tlakula says the code of conduct is binding not only on political parties, but also for all citizens participating in the elections.

She says a record 33 political parties have registered to contest the 7 May polls.

"Three [parties] are yet to fully comply with the prescribed deposit and may be ruled out before the elections."

Tlakula says parties have until next Monday to submit outstanding requirements.

She says the record number of political parties is proof that South Africans have fully embraced the idea of a multi-party democracy.

Tlakula made no mention of the independent forensic report released on Tuesday about the procurement of the IEC's offices in Centurion.

Earlier, she released a statement saying she has not been found guilty of any corrupt or criminal activity relating to the matter.

In 2013, National Treasury commissioned an investigation into the issue.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has also released her findings on the matter.

Tuesday's forensic report backed up Madonsela's conclusions and found the procurement was not done fairly, transparently or cost-effectively.

Earlier on Wednesday, the IEC said it was very concerned that the report backed up potentially damning allegations against Tlakula.

The IEC's Terry Tselane said the body itself can't take any action against Tlakula and another authority must consider whether she will remain in her position.