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Elections declared free and fair as 21 parties set to take legal action against IEC

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Despite a warning by former president Jacob Zuma at the weekend not to release the official election results, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) went ahead on Sunday night and declared the 2024 general elections free and fair.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Results Operation Centre during the national elections announcement. Picture: Oupa Mokoena, Independent Newspapers

DESPITE a warning by former president Jacob Zuma at the weekend not to release the official results, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) went ahead on Sunday night and declared the 2024 general elections free and fair.

IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya said despite receiving 579 objections and complaints by 21 parties, it emerged “triumphant” in the face of challenges, including attempts to undermine its credibility, social media attacks, disinformation campaigns, “unwarranted allegations” and ”acts of intimidation”.

“As a nation, we have emerged triumphant, having conducted these elections with the utmost transparency, fairness and adherence to the highest standards of democratic practice,” Moepya said.

“After carefully considering the extensive measures put in place and acknowledging the provisions of section 57(3) of the Electoral Act 1998, the commission declares the results of the 2024 national and provincial elections free and fair.”

Zuma’s warning on Saturday came as the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party demanded a re-vote after allegations of vote rigging, crashed machines and ballots being tampered with.

The party acquired 58 seats in the National Assembly, trailing only the DA with 87 seats and the ANC with 159.

“I think the IEC should satisfy us that they did have a look into the matter … We are going to need time and nobody must declare (yesterday). No, if that happens, people will be provoking us because we know what we are talking about. We are not guessing … We are not children, who keep quiet when you give them sweets,” Zuma said.

In the Western Cape, EFF provincial chairperson Unathi Ntame said the party has raised blatant irregularities with the capturing of the election results with the IEC.

“While EFF representatives were busy looking into these irregularities that reflected thoroughly into the IEC capturing system, it became apparent that the EFF was not the only political party affected by this, as other parties also picked up similar irregularities with their votes being wrongly captured,” Ntame said.

The National Coloured Congress (NCC), which received 2.4% of votes in the Western Cape, said they were considering action against the IEC.

“We are disappointed at the number of irregularities at the voting stations; we are taking legal advice,” said NCC president Fadiel Adams.

The Patriotic Alliance (PA), which surprised everyone in the province by becoming the third-biggest party with 7.84% of votes, said its party will adhere to the rules.

“We will find these irregularities in 2026 again and let them continue with those stolen votes, but we are not going to go against the IEC because we signed the Electoral Code,” said PA leader Gayton McKenzie.

Al Jama-ah, with 1.36% of the votes in the province, said they were also busy with objections. “We await the outcome; further process is for parties to do joint applications to the Electoral Court,” said Shameemah Salie, Al Jama-ah spokesperson.

The ACDP, which got 1.3%, said it has been inundated with queries, complaints and allegations about the voting and counting process, raised by members, party agents, supporters and voters.

Its national executive committee (NEC) has appointed an independent elections analyst to spearhead objections to the IEC in respect of the results.

The IEC on Sunday reassured voters that objections will be dealt with.

“The attitude of the commission is not to put form over substance. We are not going to be technical; we are going to look at the matter before us, and we’re going to consider them in the process of ensuring the integrity of the results,” said Moepya.

Nationally, the ANC achieved 40.18% (6,459,683 votes), followed by the DA with 21.81% (3,505,735 votes) and the MK with 14.58% (2,344,309).

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