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Helen Zille throws barbs at IEC as she casts her special vote

Also says poor people in Cape Town live better lives than anywhere else

31 October 2021 - 10:40
DA federal council chair Helen Zille says she hopes the IEC is ready and that there is no "messing around" with the MEC7 forms
DA federal council chair Helen Zille says she hopes the IEC is ready and that there is no "messing around" with the MEC7 forms 
Image: EUGENE COETZEE

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille has expressed concern about the IEC's handling of the local government elections, saying the party is hoping for “no messing around” from the electoral commission.

“The DA is very ready, we just hope the IEC is ready and we hope that there is no messing around with the MEC7 forms. We will be watching that very, closely,” she said on Saturday.

“We don't have confidence in the IEC, we've said that often. They've got a lot to prove to win our confidence back,” she said.

Zille, who has been based and campaigning in Nelson Mandela Bay for the past month flew into Cape Town on Thursday night to vote in the city on Saturday.

Just before casting her special vote at Pinelands High School on Saturday, she told journalists: “The IEC had a list of MEC7 forms, those are people who are voting outside the places they are registered. Suddenly that tripled in a very short space of time and we were concerned about that.”

An MEC7 form is a form that is filled in by a registered voter whose name does not appear on the voters' roll. The voter has to prove that they registered.

Zille also cited “cadre deployment” among the reasons the DA was concerned about the IEC. IEC commissioners are appointed by the president at the recommendation of the National Assembly.

“We've seen that with bending over in all sorts of directions to enable the ANC to re-register its candidates when they missed the deadline. No one else is allowed to miss the deadline, only the ANC. That should worry us very much,” she said.

The party was also worried about the extent to which re-demarcation, the MEC7 forms and a possible risk of people not being able to use the infrastructure or connectivity not being there because of load-shedding. “They fundamentally affect the freeness and fairness of this election,” she said.

Zille is however confident that the DA will retain its majority in Cape Town as Capetonians know that the choice is between the blue and the yellow.

“The yellow party [ANC] can't point to a single government that they have run well in the whole of SA, even though they run 90% of all local authorities,” she said.

“They can't point to a single example where they run well and the DA can point to many examples and that's why we dominate the league tables of the best run authorities,” she said.

She said voters in Cape Town understood that an election was about getting service delivery right, it's about getting things done and it's about comparing the offers of different parties

“If you compare the offer of the DA and the ANC, it's really no contest, it's no contest if you vote for the right things. If you want your town to flourish and grow, if you want confidence and investment and jobs, you obviously vote DA,” said Zille.

She said while every single metro had poor areas, there was no comparison in terms of the package of free basic services that the DA offered, the services in general, responsiveness of its councillors, the infrastructure, water, sanitation, roads and public transport.

“Poor people live a much better life in Cape Town than anywhere else,” said Zille.

In response, IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said: “When we announce the results we will have a clear indication of the number of MEC7 individuals who cast their votes during the local municipal elections.”

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