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IEC: Parties that break electoral code could face sanction or jail time

The IEC has urged political parties to adhere to the code and advise their supporters on how to behave in the electoral process.

IEC chief executive officer Sy Mamabolo update media on the outcome of the final registration drive. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says that political parties that break the electoral code could be sanctioned and even face imprisonment of up to five to ten years.

The IEC has urged political parties to adhere to the code and advise their supporters on how to behave in the electoral process.

Recently, several journalists have expressed their concerns and outrage at being victimised by members and supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

On Wednesday, veteran journalist Karima Brown was intimidated and threatened by people claiming to be members of the EFF after its leader Julius Malema exposed her personal cellphone number on social media.

The IEC said South Africans who are aggrieved by the conduct and behaviour of any political party and its supporters can report their grievances with the commission.

"The person who has been violated can take the matter to the Electoral Court, and if the complaint is made officially with the Electoral Commission, the commission can evaluate the set of circumstances," said Masego Sheburi, the deputy chief electoral officer at the IEC.

Various organisations and journalists have condemned Malema after he refused to apologise to Brown.

Media Monitoring Africa has called on relevant authorities to act decisively against those responsible for the violent threats, while the South African National Editors’ Forum called on the EFF to stop vicious attacks on the media and allow journalists to do their work without fear and intimidation.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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