Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

IEC says it is not its call to punish when electoral code of conduct is contravened

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Oct 21, 2021

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Cape Town - The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) says it was up to the courts to decide on imposing any sanctions for the contravention of the electoral code of conduct.

Addressing the media at an information session, Western Cape provincial electoral officer Michael Hendricks said the Supreme Court of Appeal this year again reinforced and confirmed that when it came to contraventions of code of conduct and the imposition of sanction, it was the domain of the judiciary, not the IEC.

“The IEC cannot enforce any provision by imposing any sanction,” he said.

“Yes, the IEC can on its own go to the Electoral Court, but a party or any person can go to the Electoral Court, or in a case that is a criminal offence, go to the police station to lay a charge, and normal investigation and prosecution will follow,” Hendrickse said.

He also said complaints could be lodged with the IEC and that the chief electoral officer could decide whether a matter required the electoral body to approach the Electoral Court given the egregious nature and circumstances.

Hendrickse said the commission would not take every matter on the contravention of the code of conduct to the Electoral Court when it received complaints.

“That will be the responsibility of the complainant in such cases,” he said.

Political parties recently pledged to uphold the code of conduct.

Complaints on the violation of the electoral code of conduct can be reported to the IEC via [email protected]

The public can also report disinformation and fake news found in social media platforms at www.real411.org – a partnership between the IEC and Media Monitoring Africa.

[email protected]

Political Bureau

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