Home South African IEC probing how candidate lists were leaked

IEC probing how candidate lists were leaked

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Political parties have until March 27 to submit objections to candidates who have been proposed for the provincial legislatures and the National Assembly ahead of the national general elections.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said they had started an inquiry into how the documents were leaked. Picture: Independent Newspapers

POLITICAL parties have until March 27 to submit objections to candidates who have been proposed for the provincial legislatures and the National Assembly ahead of the national general elections.

This comes after political parties on Friday submitted three lists to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) – national-to-national, provincial-to-national and provincial-to provincial.

The ANC raised concerns after its national party list was leaked, saying this would give an unfair advantage to opposition parties who would now have extra time to scrutinise its list. The MK Party national list was also leaked.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said they were concerned that ANC candidate lists appeared to emanate from the IEC’s online candidate nomination system and had been circulated on social media.

“We have conveyed our concerns to the IEC about this unauthorised release of personal information in potential contravention of the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia).”

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said they had started an inquiry into how the documents were leaked.

“Indications are that the data emanated from internal system-generated reports within the Electoral Commission. To this end, the commission has directed an inquiry to establish the circumstances and identity of the source of the unauthorised disclosure.

“To the extent that the disclosed documents also contain personal information of data subjects, the Electoral Commission has reported the incident to the Information Regulator in compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act,” Bapela said.

According to the IEC’s timetable, the documents would have only been made public on March 26 and 27.

The ANC’s national list reveals that the party stuck to its decision last week to include dozens of candidates who have been implicated in the State Capture report, while it excludes prominent leaders who are facing criminal charges.

Those included are ANC national chairperson and Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe; the ANC’s first deputy secretary-general, Nomvula Mokonyane; Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa; Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister David Mahlobo; former public enterprises and finance minister Malusi Gigaba; and MP Cedrick Frolick.

Those formally charged and not included on the national list include former Free State MEC Motshidisi Koloi, who was charged with corruption in October last year; former Limpopo chair Danny Msiza, on charges arising from the VBS banking scandal; Bongani Bongo and Mosebenzi Zwane and national executive committee (NEC) member Andile Lungisa.

Former eThekwini mayor and chairperson of the powerful ANC eThekwini region, Zandile Gumede, did not appear on the national list but the region expects her to make at least one of the two other lists.

Mondli Mkhize, spokesperson for the region, said it would be unfair of the ANC to ask Gumede to campaign ahead of the elections if she were to be excluded from the unseen lists.

She has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her in a matter related to a R320 million Durban Solid Waste contract and her trial is under way.

The ANC asked Gumede to step aside in light of the charges but she has been seen actively campaigning, most recently with secretary-general Fikile Mbalula and Mantashe at ANC activities.

“She was asked to step aside by the ANC and it is the same party that has called on her to campaign. As the region, we feel it will be unfair of the ANC to request her to campaign, regardless of the step-aside policy, and not include her on a list.”

Mkhize said Gumede had been asked to campaign for the governing party because “people still believe in her leadership”.

“We hope that she will return to the provincial legislature … it is unfair to ask her to bring in voters and not send her to the legislature or the National Assembly,” Mkhize said.

The MK Party said it was not perturbed over possible objections to former president Jacob Zuma featuring on its candidate list.

Zuma was handed a 15-month sentence in June 2021 for refusing to testify at the State Capture Inquiry but was released on medical parole after two months due to a remission of sentence for non-violent offenders approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Sections 47 and 106 of the Constitution state that a citizen is eligible to be a member of the National Assembly or provincial legislature except if they are “convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment without the option of a fine … A disqualification under this paragraph ends five years after the sentence has been completed.”

MK Party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said this was in reference to a criminal and not a civil matter and Zuma’s “was not a criminal case”.

“He was sentenced but never stood before a judge,” Ndlela said.

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