Congress of the People (Cope) has slammed the Electoral Commission (IEC), charging that it is “owned” by the ruling ANC.
This comes after the IEC reopened candidate registration on Monday after the ANC missed the initial deadline.
The DA has gone to court to oppose the action.
The IEC reopened candidate registration after it failed to convince the Constitutional Court to postpone this year’s election to February 2022.
The apex court directed the IEC to hold a voter registration week and ensure the elections be proclaimed anew. But it did not explicitly rule that the candidate registration be reopened.
Addressing the media on Thursday, COPE deputy president Willy Madisha strongly criticised the IEC.
Madisha raised concerns that the new election timetable by the IEC had been circulating on social media on Saturday last week before it was presented to political parties.
“COPE believes that the reason the timetable was presented to the political parties was merely for rubber stamping and giving more privilege to a political party. ‘Animal Farm’ is rife in SA, even the IEC practices it,” said Madisha.
He said COPE supports the parties that are challenging the IEC in court.
“The IEC is treating the ANC with special privilege by arming them with information that other political parties are not afforded,” said Madisha.
He said the treatment of the ANC by the IEC created doubt about the institution’s credibility.
“More and more South Africans are starting to doubt the independence of the IEC. It is actually not independent altogether, it is owned by the ANC itself,” said Madisha.
He said his party was ready for the local government elections and will stand in all nine provinces but will not contest all wards.
Madisha criticised the ANC government, saying it was presiding over an “Animal Farm” type of democracy after the release of former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole.
Zuma had been serving a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court after he failed to comply with a ConCourt ruling that he appear before the commission of inquiry into state capture.
“COPE is very angry at how the Ramaphosa regime continues to mock the intelligence of South Africans,” said Madisha.
He also slated President Cyril Ramaphosa for endorsing Zuma’s parole.
By Aphiwe Deklerk