• 13 of the 14 parties represented in the National Assembly signed the IEC’s code of conduct, pledging to adhere to all IEC rules and regulations as they continue on the campaign trail.
  • The EFF was the only party from the 14 parties in the National Assembly not to send a representative to the ceremony.
  • The signing ceremony is in compliance with the Electoral Act, which requires political parties to publicly commit to upholding the provisions and the purpose of the code of conduct ahead of the local elections.

Of the 14 parties represented in the National Assembly, only the EFF failed to send a representative to the Independent Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) ceremony where parties who have registered to contest the 2021 municipal elections pledged to abide by all rules and regulations the IEC has set out.

The IEC and leaders from 13 of the 14 political parties represented in the National Assembly signed an electoral code of conduct pledge at Nasrec in Johannesburg on Friday.

Notably absent from the signing ceremony were the red berets, who failed to send a representative.

IEC commissioner Doctor Nomsa Masuku noted the EFF’s absence, saying “the EFF has failed to send any representative to today’s ceremony”.

News24 reached out to EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo for a response on the party’s absence, but had, at the time of publication, not received a response.

The signing ceremony was in compliance with the Electoral Act, which required political parties to publicly commit to upholding the provisions and the purpose of the code of conduct ahead of the municipal elections.

While making the pledge to adhere to the IEC’s code of conduct, DA leader John Steenhuisen also called on the IEC to address issues around the Political Party Funding Act, saying the way the EFF was visibly absent at the signing ceremony and also that it was missing from the list of parties who disclosed its donors.

“The Political Party Funding Act needs to be amended to unsure that the IEC can audit parties. The EFF who are noticeably absent this morning are clearly spending far more money than they would be able to do without large donations, yet they fail to disclose a single one of these donations.

“Their finances need to be audited. Party declarations cannot just be taken at face value,” said Steenhuisen.

IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini said while the country celebrated National Heritage Day on 24 September, South African’s biggest heritage was the “democracy that was born on 27 April 1994”.

“This amazing heritage – this democracy – was bequeathed to us by generations of selfless leaders, and many ordinary South Africans, who took up the cudgels for the human rights of every one of us. It is a hard-earned gift – born out of blood, sweat, tears and immeasurable sacrifice,” said Mashinini, who urged political parties to honour and protect this heritage through pledging to conduct their campaigns in adherence with the IEC’s code of conduct.

He added that one of the ways in which parties could preserve the heritage of democracy was through “holding and participate in, regular, free and fair elections”.

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“I stand before you as the proud chairperson of an institution – the Independent Electoral Commission – that has delivered a consistent succession of free and fair local elections in the past three decades. The quality of elections delivered by the IEC has helped ensure the steady and confident growth of this democracy,” said Mashinini.

Mashinini urged parties to take “reasonable steps to ensure that the party, its candidates and office bearers comply with the code”.