There is something clearly amiss in the train of thought of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) management, and their hasty decision to exclude the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania from the Local Government Elections scheduled for 3 August 2016 tells it all.
The IEC should know that it is neither a Censorship Board of apartheid, serving as a gate-keeper, to decide arbitrarily for the electorate which political party is suitable for participating in the democratic process of South Africa, nor a Sheriff of the Court to implement expulsions from sites in contest like the notorious Red Ants acting against homeless people in the cold of winter.
In a letter dated 14 June 2016 – which is addressed to firms of attorneys representing (a) the PAC and (b) unnamed dissidents claiming to be the ‘second PAC’ and the expelled Alton Mpheti, who both intervened in the PAC of Azania versus the IEC case [number 8340/16] at the Gauteng Division court – the IEC chief executive officer, Mosotho Moepya, states that they will no longer process the party lists and nomination documents they had provisionally received from the PAC of Azania before the deadline of 2 June 2016.
The contents of this letter have been used to ‘de-campaign’ the PAC and confuse and demoralise both its members and potential voters.
We believe the IEC management doing this out of turn and it is acting out its hidden bias and desire to sideline the PAC from the national mainstream of politics where it would carry out its duties and programmes to lead the African people.
Their main reason for this dastardly act of malice is that they – the IEC – had ‘expected’ an order from the Appeal Court in terms of section 18(3), on or before 8 June 2016, dismissing the leave of appeal instituted by the same dissidents.
On these flimsy grounds, the IEC was now expelling the PAC from its legitimate right to participate in the LGE on 3 August 2016.
Who do they think they are?
The IEC is malicious because it is not acting on the judgment of 20 April 2016. Judge Makgoka, in the case number 8340/2016 held at the Gauteng Division Pretoria high court, ordered the IEC to interact with the PAC leadership, and mentioned Comrade Luthando Mbinda and Comrade Narius Moloto by name, for the purposes of the upcoming local government elections in 2016.
The IEC is up to no good because they are now taking sides with the intervening parties who were ordered to pay the costs of the PAC in the case number 8340/2016. It is not the protocol of their responsibility to defy a court judgment, and instead make decisions on the basis of an appeal whose process they (and the PAC) do not control. They are acting on malicious intent because they prefer to err on the side of an intervening but non-registered political party. They know that this is questionable decision-making they have taken, and that it does not serve their primary purpose of managing the elections independently.
Stick to the Judgment of April 2016
The judiciary has not ordered the IEC to prevent the PAC from participating in the local government elections. Judge Makgoka’s order of April 2016 is very clear.
The slip of the IEC is nevertheless showing: The CEO of the IEC, Mosotho Moepya, is operating out of kilter with the treatment his institution should confer to a legal and fully registered political party, preferring instead to follow his hunch and unsubstantiated thoughts. We advise him and his management team to note that
• The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania is a political party registered in terms of Section 15 of the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996 (Electoral Act).
• On 19 March 2015, the President of the PAC, Luthando Mbinda, was sworn in as Member of Parliament in the National Assembly. The PAC took part in the national general elections managed by the same IEC.
• The PAC has its own constitution and holds annual national conferences where strategic decisions are canvassed and decided upon legitimately. Delegates from branches participate freely without fetters of any sorts in the deliberations which take place at these national conferences, and they have powers to amend the constitution and or elect a national leadership of their choice through simple majority of votes.
• Members are at liberty to join the PAC willingly as individuals, and to exercise their right to stand for positions of responsibility in leadership without coercion or conversely without imposing themselves undemocratically.
• The PAC of Azania is a liberation movement which fought to overthrow white domination and usher in a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, political dispensation. It has a historic mission to rally the African people under the banner of African Nationalism, and it further aims to establish continental unity of African states under a single government.
• No power on earth can stop the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania from carrying out its mission to liberate Africa and its people.
The IEC is not the arbiter and final voice of that agenda, and they know it.
Jaki Seroke – Secretary for Political and Pan African Affairs