Home South African IEC calls for probe into ‘fake signatures’ submitted by MK Party

IEC calls for probe into ‘fake signatures’ submitted by MK Party

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The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has called on authorities to expedite their investigation into allegations that former president Jacob Zuma’s Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party reportedly falsified the signatures it had submitted to the commission for consideration.

In a recent media briefing by the IEC, the deputy chief electoral officer Masego Sheburi admitted that the commission did not have a signature database and could not verify whether signatures on supporter lists belonged to actual voters. Picture: Timothy Bernard, African News Agency

THE ELECTORAL Commission of South Africa (IEC) has called on authorities to expedite their investigation into allegations that former president Jacob Zuma’s Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) party reportedly falsified the signatures it had submitted to the commission for consideration.

As reported in the City Press, a former senior official of the party, Lennox Ntsodo, alleged that Zuma’s party had forged the signatures required by the IEC to register for the ballot.

According to Ntsodo, his team of about 20 people fraudulently obtained names, identity numbers, and cellphone numbers of job-seekers from a database of the Cape Metro Council.

He claimed that Faizel Moosa and Fumanekile Booi, the MK chairperson in the Western Cape, knew about the matter as he had daily reported the progress.

Booi and Moosa have since dismissed the allegations.

In a voice recording, IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said the commission had noted the media reports and enquiries alleging that MK Party submitted forged signatures in fulfilment of the candidate nomination requirements.

She added that a criminal complaint had been filed with the police.

“The commission calls on crime investigation authorities to expedite the investigations to establish the verity of the allegations. An expeditious investigation is essential for the conduct of free and fair elections,” she said.

Bapela confirmed that the signature portal of the candidate nomination system verified whether the identity numbers submitted were of registered citizens of the Republic.

According to the official, this entailed establishing whether the person is a citizen, alive and registered on the voters roll.

“The commission had indicated in the parliamentary process during debates on the institutionalisation of the signature requirement that it would be impossible to establish whether the signatures were true of those persons who claim to have given them,” she said.

In a recent media briefing by the IEC, the deputy chief electoral officer Masego Sheburi admitted that the commission did not have a signature database and could not verify whether signatures on supporter lists belonged to actual voters.

This is what sparked concerns about the validity and legitimacy of the ballot measure in the election process.

By law, political parties must submit signatures of members and supporters to register for elections and appear on the ballot.

MK spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela told Newzroom Afrika that they would open a case against Ntsodo.

Meanwhile, going into elections, the commission reminded voters that the deadline for applications for special votes will close on May 3.

The 2024 national and provincial elections will be held on May 29.

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