Small parties to launch legal action against IEC

The parties said they had been sidelined throughout the electioneering process and would now take action against the IEC.

Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

PRETORIA - Several smaller parties say they plan to launch legal action against the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) following what they say were a number of irregularities during Wednesday's national elections.

The parties, which include the African Transformation Movement, Black First Land First, the Land Party, the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party and the National Freedom Party, say they were sidelined throughout the electioneering process - and will now take action against the IEC.

Earlier on Thursday the commission said it would conduct a small-scale audit to determine the extent of alleged irregularities in Wednesday’s poll after meeting with angry party leaders on Thursday morning.

There were mixed reactions from South Africa's three biggest political parties following the IEC's announcement.

The governing African National Congress said it was impressed by the way the IEC had handled the challenges it had faced.

“We would not have been satisfied if there wasn’t an audit. We would have been worried if the IEC did not offer to go through the IEC forms,” deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said.

The Democratic Alliance’s Solly Malatsi said an audit would get to the bottom of any voting discrepancies.

“It’s a positive step that they are taking, and we hope that the turnaround time is fast enough.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Dali Mpofu said the party welcomed the audit but was disappointed with the IEC's handling of the situation.

“Well I do think they could have done a better job; I am not satisfied at all because these issues are predictable.”

All parties agreed that the audit needed to be conducted as soon as possible so the claims wouldn't have an impact on the integrity of the elections.