African National Congress.South Africa: ANC Reaffirms Its Confidence in the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

The African National Congress (ANC) notes media reports carrying unsubstantiated allegations that the organisation is engaged in a 'behind-the-scenes war' with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). The reports further claim that this conflict has intensified since last month's local government elections.

The ANC reaffirms its confidence in the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), a body that was set up and supported by the ANC-led government. We further refute any allegations of any war between the ANC and the IEC. The IEC continues to set the standard for professionalism and successive elections have shown that the citizenry have the utmost faith in the electoral process thanks to the work of the IEC. This the ANC has said before and after the Local Government Elections of 2016.

The independence of the IEC and the integrity of the electoral process are sacrosanct principles of the ANC and at all instances when there have been efforts to undermine the integrity of the IEC or the electoral process, the ANC has been unwavering and vocal in its commitment to ensure that they are upheld. The ANC therefore has neither intention nor wish to delegitimise the IEC and the sterling work the Commission carries out. It is inconceivable and pure fabrication that the ANC would be "at war with IEC".

South Africa's Chapter 9 Institutions (of which the IEC forms part) were set up to safeguard democracy and by their very nature are accessible to all members of the public. All political parties are entitled to request or accept a meeting with the IEC to raise issues of concern, which the IEC is obliged to honor in line with its commitment to accessibility and to perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice. There is nothing irregular nor extraordinary that the ANC has met with the leadership of the IEC. The motives of those who leaked confidential correspondence regarding a meeting held between the ANC and the IEC, should be questioned.

Media should also exercise responsibility when reporting on allegations that certain IEC officials have been 'abused' by ANC Officials as these claims are untested. Incorrect reporting on the leaked contents from a closed meeting at which the media was not present, border on sensationalism; and could serve erode the public's confidence in the legitimacy of the IEC, which is both undesirable and extremely unfortunate.

The African National Congress will continue to engage with the institutions that support our democracy, including the Independent Electoral Commission, whenever there are issues deserving of our collective consideration. The ANC encourages individuals who feel aggrieved during this process to utilize constitutional and law enforcement frameworks to raise their grievances where they feel the ANC has acted in contravention of any regulations or prescripts.

Source: African National Congress.

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