/ 16 June 2024

Zuma’s MK party asks electoral court to order a rerun of May vote

Whatsapp Image 2024 03 18 At 12.55.07
Former South African and ANC president, Jacob Zuma. (MKP/X)

The uMkhonto weSizwe party has turned to the Electoral Court to seek an order declaring that the outcome of the May elections be set aside due to alleged serious irregularities.

It said had it not been for these, it would “in all likelihood” have won the elections and asked the court to direct President Cyril Ramaphosa to call a rerun of the vote within 90 days of said order.

The MK Party won 14.5 percent of the vote, which translates into 58 seats in the National Assembly, but claims that the declared result and Ramaphosa’s re-election was tantamount to a coup.

Its approach to the electoral court comes after the constitutional court on Wednesday dismissed its application for direct access to challenge the result. The court said the application was meritless, noting that the party had failed to adduce any evidence to make out a prima facie case that the election was not free and fair.

In its founding affidavit to the electoral court, it reiterates its claim in papers to the  apex court that the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) acted unlawfully when it declared the results though political parties had “lodged serious objections of massive electoral rigging and fraud”.

“The IEC failed to address the allegations given to it of electoral irregularities in a lawful and fair manner,” the party argued, adding that the commission’s attitude was “dismissive”.

It said the results were declared “despite approximately 576 of unresolved objections that “were of sufficient gravity to vitiate the lawfulness” of the elections. 

This meant, the party’s national organiser Nkosinathi Nhleko went on to suggest, that it was probably robbed of an outright victory and the prerogative to form a government.

“Had the elections been conducted in a free and fair manner, the applicant would in all likelihood have won the national and provincial elections, with the consequence that it would have earned the right and obligation to form a national government.”

Nkheko said he was bringing the application in the interest of the party, but also in that of the public.

“The relief that the applicant seeks is far-reaching but necessary,” he wrote.

“The legitimacy of any government in a democratic system underpinned by the Constitution depends on the legitimacy of the elections. Undermine the lawfulness of the elections you undermine the constitution itself and violate the basic tenets of democracy.”

Nhleko said an analysis of the IEC’s published records revealed discrepancies between the number of ballots cast and the number of votes counted in each province. There were a total of more than nine million votes that could not be reconciled with actual voting figures, he claimed, adding that this could only point to election rigging.

“The question is how was this number of 9 336 828 voters distributed amongst the voters?” he said. 

“The evidence of vote irregularities is glaring and inexplicable on any other basis other than that there was a massive attempt to subvert the democratic will of the citizens of this country.”

It must mean, he said, that IEC officials were “involved in changing the accurate votes captured at the voting district and replacing those results with false numbers”.

He said this infringed on voters’ constitutional rights to such an extent that it equaled treason.

The MK Party in its application to the constitutional court sought an urgent interdict to prohibit the National Assembly from sitting last Friday to swear in members and elect the president and presiding officers.

The court said it was not in the interests of justice to grant direct access, as the party created its own urgency by filing papers at the 11th hour and that it did not make out a case that it would suffer irreparable harm if the interdict was not granted, nor that the balance of convenience favoured granting an interdict.

In its application to the electoral court, the party argued that given the alleged vote rigging, the composition of the National Assembly and by extension the election of the president did not reflect the will of voters.

“Evidence of vote rigging, fraud and manipulation vitiates the entire process of setting up the National Assembly in terms of section 46 of the Constitution.”

As the saying goes, fraud unravels everything and in relation to a national election, fraud must unravel everything – for no legitimate government may be constituted through fraud, rigged election results and manipulation. 

“To constitute the National Assembly on the premise of election results that are fraudulent to perform legislative functions including of electing the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the President is tantamount to a military coup.”

The party’s elected MPs boycotted Friday’s sitting of the National Assembly. 

It had claimed that by doing so it would rob the chamber of standing to elect the president and presiding officers. But parliament pointed out that this calculation was based on a misreading of the Constitution, as in terms of section 53 the minimum number of MPs required for a valid vote is one third of members.