IEC plans to ‘clear the air’ with EFF over alleged vote rigging

The party claims votes cast for the EFF in Alexandra were stolen in the 2014 election.

EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials have asked for a meeting with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema in a bid to "clear the air" following accusations of vote rigging.

The EFF claimed votes cast for the party were "stolen" in Alexandra in Gauteng during the 2014 general elections.

During the party's election manifesto launch in April, Malema warned the IEC to be independent, and said the commission should not behave like a political foe.

The Cooperative Governance Department has since warned Malema against making accusations that have the potential to damage the IEC's reputation.

Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo says the commission does not want to get into a public spat with a political party.

"It is important that we have a common understanding of processes, and we minimise mutual allegations and so on."

Mamabolo says the commission is consulting with the EFF's leadership, and a date for the meeting will be set soon.

"As the commission, we want to understand the issues that they think imperil the possibility for free and fair elections."

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution has also urged the party to retract its "dangerous condemnation" of the commission, a Chapter 9 institution.