IEC condemns electioneering violence

The commission’s CEO Mosotho Moepya says the political platform is large enough for all parties to share.

ANC Gauteng leader Paul Mashatile speaking on behalf of Gauteng premier David Makhura at the signing of IEC pledges by all political parties on 22 June 2016. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has condemned any violence linked to local government election campaigning, and issued a stern warning to parties acting outside of its code of conduct.

The commission held a signing ceremony in Sandton earlier today where provincial parties pledged peace ahead of this year's local government elections.

The IEC says 26.3 million people have registered to vote, making it the highest number in a South African election.



The commission's CEO Mosotho Moepya says the political platform is large enough for all parties to share.

"There are enough voters for all the political parties."



Speaking on behalf of Gauteng's premier, Paul Mashatile told the various parties gathered not to incite violence when campaigning.

"Ensure that our people are also taught the importance of democracy."

The electoral commission says it has noted the rising levels of violence and intimidation characterising campaign ahead of polling day in August.

POLITICAL PARTIES MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

The IEC called on political leaders to take responsibility for the conduct of their supporters, and says collective action is needed to punish criminal behaviour.

Mashatile urged parties not to allow their internal conflicts to interrupt the hard work of the commission.

With just 41 days to go until this year's municipal elections, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini has called on political leaders not to infringe on the commission's code of conduct.

"We as the commission also remind all the political parties and candidates that the infringement of the code of conduct carries severe penalties, including disqualification from elections."

Mashinini emphasised how violent protests linked to poor service delivery and demarcation issues have become a shame to the constitution.

Opposition parties also called on Mashatile to speak to African National Congress members about what they claim is continued intimidation when campaigning on the ground.