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'Parties distributing food parcels ahead of elections must be dealt with'

Candidates, interviewed for a part-time IEC commissioner vacancy, were asked about the practice.

FILE: People voting during the national general elections on 7 May 2014. Picture: Amanda Moore/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Most of the candidates interviewed for the vacancy of a part-time IEC commissioner agree that political parties distributing food parcels ahead of elections is a problem that must be dealt with.

Yesterday, 13 people were interviewed for the post by a panel made up of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and representatives from the commissions of Human Rights and Gender Equality.

Last year, President Jacob Zuma accepted the National Assembly's request to reinitiate the process, because the first list of candidates did not have sufficient choices with regards to gender and race.

Madonsela posed the same question to every candidate.

"Are there any comments you might have on the challenge of distribution of food parcels during elections?"

The first candidate Lovetta Bolters expressed concern about this practice.

"That is a no-no and I think that should be part of compliance for party's activities."

Others agreed, some with solutions and others saying it needs to be reviewed by the IEC.

Concerns were also raised about the number of young South Africans voting.

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