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IFP 'irresponsible' for making foreign national voter fraud claims - ANC

ANC provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said in a province prone to xenophobic violence, the IFP ought to be more careful.

Voting ballot boxes fill up as voters exercise their right to vote on 8 May 2019. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

DURBAN - The African National Congress (ANC) said on Thursday the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) was irresponsible for making claims that foreign nationals were bused into Zululand by the ruling party to vote.

On Wednesday, the IFP said it had filed a formal complaint with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) about the allegations.

ANC provincial spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said in a province prone to xenophobic violence like KwaZulu-Natal is, the IFP ought to be more careful.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Wednesday the party wanted the IEC to investigate allegations that the ANC was using Quantum minibuses to transport foreign nations to Zululand to vote.

“We brought it to the attention of the IEC because forewarned is forearmed, we don’t know what has come of the investigation, but we always feel that it’s important to let the authorities know,” IFP chief whip in Parliament Narend Singh said.

But Simelane-Zulu the IFP's actions were irresponsible: “We understand that in the past couple of years, in this province, we experienced a lot of xenophobic attacks. So, when you make such allegations you are creating an environment that is very hostile. It’s impossible for foreign nationals to vote in South Africa.”

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IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the IEC had not been honest about the severity of the irregularities encountered during this year's elections, adding that some of the problems had been flagged with the commission before.

“The IEC is pretending things are fine and is aloof to the prevailing reality on the ground, which has a meaningful impact on the credibility and integrity of these elections. So, we’re expecting the IEC to give responses and if they do not take us into confidence, that would be a serious problem.”

The IEC has since announced that it will launch an audit following the voter fraud allegations.