Azapo worried about calibre of those tasked with overseeing polling stations

Azapo spokesperson Jabu Rakwena. Picture: Supplied

Azapo spokesperson Jabu Rakwena. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 1, 2024


The Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) said the upcoming general elections would be the most contested elections in SA’s democratic dispensation and with the stakes so high, one was likely to witness attempts at cheating and underhanded behaviour displayed to influence the election process and outcome.

The organisation raised its concerns particularly at the teachers union, affiliated to the governing party.

“We are particularly concerned about the auxiliary staff that the IEC will be employing and urge that an opportunity should be given to the unemployed graduates and matriculants instead of employing groups like Sadtu or Cosatu affiliates, which are known to be partisan.

“Zuma and his group have been in the thick of things and know some of the tricks employed, so their apprehensions are taken note of but should not be used to hype emotions and ferment violence.

“Azapo is registered on the national ballot as well as the regional to national ballot,” the party’s spokesperson Jabu Rakwena said on Monday.

Rakwena’s comments come after former president Jacob Zuma had warned of a possible rigging of the elections early this year. Zuma said there was potential for the rigging of the 2024 national and provincial elections.

During his address outside the Durban High Court, Zuma urged his party agents to be extra vigilant during the exercising of special votes, as it was believed that these votes could be stolen.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula slammed its former leaders for suggesting that the general elections would be rigged.

Mbalula said the utterances were just attempts to delegitimise the elections, adding this could potentially give rise to unrest.

“The ANC categorically rejects any dangerous suggestions that our electoral system can and will be manipulated. The IEC is one of the most trusted public institutions,” he said.

“The entire voting and counting processes are monitored by party agents from all competing parties,” Mbalula said.

Rakwena told The Star that his organisation would be contesting only in three of the provinces.

“We managed to register for three provinces: Gauteng, Eastern Cape, and Limpopo. However, I received reports that our registration in Limpopo could not satisfy the signature threshold as many of our signatures there were invalid due to not appearing on the voters’ roll. Apparently, we fell short of 80 signatures,” Rakwena said.

He further said their leadership would be meeting on Wednesday where the executive would be briefed as to what took place, and why the failure to comply with the IEC’s regulations, specifically in Limpopo.

“We are meeting on Wednesday to receive a full report and update,” he said.

The Star

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