Political parties take turns to sue IEC at Electoral Court over rigged elections: Fresh elections should be conducted!


The African Transformation Movement (ATM) has joined the ranks of the uMkhonto weSizwe party by challenging the outcome of the recently concluded May elections and demanding a rerun of the vote. The ATM, led by its charismatic president Vuyo Zungula, has filed an application with the electoral court, claiming that his party has been subjected to miscalculations, vote rigging, and voter corruption.

In a founding affidavit submitted to the court, Zungula argues that the ATM and its supporters were the victims of a series of irregularities that marred the electoral process. He asserts that a significant number of the ATM's supporters were unable to cast their ballots due to inexplicable discrepancies in the voters' roll. This alarming discovery raises serious doubts about the ability of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to conduct free and fair elections.

"It was surprising and shocking for ATM to learn that most of its voters could not vote, in a manner that deprived them of their right to vote," Zungula expressed. "The reason was their non-appearance on the voters' roll, despite being registered."

Furthermore, Zungula highlights that some individuals discovered their names were missing from the voting district where they had initially registered, only to find them listed in a completely different district. This confusing situation resulted in a limited number of individuals being able to exercise their democratic right.

The ATM president further claims that similar irregularities plagued the 2019 national elections, leading the party to hope for a resolution by the IEC. However, these issues persisted, along with other material irregularities, suggesting a pattern of election manipulation.

Zungula points out that the widely-reported problems with electronic scanners at polling stations were a contributing factor to what he terms as "double voting." He firmly believes that the commission intentionally allowed this flaw to manipulate the election results and unduly influence the outcome, effectively "stealing" the ATM's votes.

"If this court weighs in all aspects complained of, the voters' roll inconsistencies, the irregular vote counting, the acts of misconduct by commission employees, all point to vote rigging and vote corruption, coupled with manipulation of results to advantage one or more political parties," Zungula asserts.

The ATM's application to the electoral court comes at a critical juncture, with the country already grappling with the formation of a new government. Zungula emphasizes that the constitutional crisis resulting from the alleged failings of the 2024 National and Provincial Elections necessitates urgent action.

"It is evident that the 2024 NPE [national and provincial elections] were not free and fair," Zungula states. "That is a compelling reason, sufficient enough for the court to set aside the 2024 NPE results and order a rerun of the elections."

To address the systemic issues within the IEC, Zungula suggests that the commission be reconstituted before conducting a fresh election. Restoring confidence in the commission as a chapter 9 institution is paramount to ensuring the credibility of future elections.

While the ATM awaits the court's decision, it remains to be seen how this challenge will impact the political landscape and the formation of the new coalition government. The ATM, which is part of an alliance with leftist parties such as the Economic Freedom Fighters and the United Democratic Movement, finds itself on the sidelines, while the Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party forge a coalition with the ruling African National Congress.

As the ATM's legal battle unfolds, the nation eagerly awaits the court's ruling on whether a rerun of the elections is warranted. In the quest for justice and fair representation, South Africa finds itself at a crossroads, where the credibility of its electoral system hangs in the balance.

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