The Economic Freedom Fighters marched on the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) provincial operations centre in Gauteng demanding the immediate release of the Gauteng election results.
EFF members from various Gauteng branches, including Tshwane, Alexandra and Thembisa, accused the IEC of kowtowing to the ANC’s fears of losing support in the province by withholding the election results.
This follows protests in Alexandra on Thursday, after the discovery of discarded ballot papers in Diepsloot.
The EFF released a statement in the early hours of Friday morning casting suspicion on the IEC’s impartiality. “The Economic Freedom Fighters demands the immediate release of Gauteng results.
“At exactly 17H59 [on Wednesday], the ANC was at 50.21% of the Gauteng vote and immediately after that, the Gauteng results started to slow down and almost came to an absolute halt because the ANC was heading towards below 50% of the Gauteng vote,” said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
EFF members outside the IEC’s office on Friday were slightly more overt. They sang songs referring to President Jacob Zuma’s alleged love of sex, called the president a “kaffir”, and a thief.
“Zuma is a dog,” read one EFF poster. “We will defend our land from this ‘kaffir’ [Zuma]”, read another. Other posters called for the introduction of electronic voting machines. “Elections are rigged. Re-election now!”
The Johannesburg Metro police department and members of the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) were dispatched to the scene to contain the protest, which was peaceful. There was some confusion over the legality of the protest, which caused police to ask the group to split into smaller groups of protesters. The EFF members obliged but insisted that they would not leave the IEC’s premises until the Gauteng results were released.
The IEC could not be reached for comment on Friday. But IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula said on Friday that the final national results would be released on Saturday evening. She said the IEC had received four objections regarding the electoral process.