Political parties pledge tolerance ahead of elections

20 March 2014

Political parties registered to contest South Africa’s 7 May general election on Wednesday signed the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) code of conduct, committing themselves to refrain from any acts of violence, incitement or intimidation in the lead-up to the polls.

The parties used Wednesday’s platform to reassure the public and the IEC of their commitment to a peaceful election campaign.

African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said: “We value the elections and, as always, we will never intimidate, harass or be involved in any form of violence.”

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille said her party unconditionally and wholeheartedly committed to abide by the IEC code of conduct, while Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) representative Inkosi Mandla Buthelezi also committed to a free, fair and credible 2014 general election.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) representative Mpho Ramakatsa urged leaders of political parties to tell their members to refrain from declaring certain areas “no-go areas”.

Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) leader Jake Dikobo said they were also committed to promoting peaceful elections, while the leader of the little-known Al Jamah-Ah party, Ganief Hendricks, said: “We are pledging to adhere to the IEC code of conduct and we will be more peaceful during the elections.”

The leader of the Bushbuckridge Residents Association (BRA), Delta Mokoena, said they would give their opponents space to campaign in their stronghold (Bushbuckridge) and other parts of Mpumalanga province.

Political parties appealed to the public broadcaster, the SABC, to give all political parties fair and equal coverage.

The Reverend Larry Varrie of the First National Liberation Alliance (FINLA) said the IEC should reconsider reducing the registration fee for political organisations to contest the elections, as the current fee was not affordable to newcomers and other small parties.

Meanwhile, the IEC also used the event to conduct the draw for the position on the ballot paper, which was won by the Freedom Front Plus (FFP). This means that FFP will top the 2014 ballot paper list.

Source: SAnews.gov.za