|Registration mess statement by Deputy-National Secretary (27 November 1998)|
Despite promises by the IEC and the government that everything is in place for registration in the five provinces, the situation on the ground is a disaster. Thousands of South Africans may very well ask themselves whether today is the first of April. Phones at the UDM National Office and in the five provincial offices have not stopped ringing as people are reporting complaints. At the National Office staff were redeployed to answer calls and take down complaints.
of the more common complaints are:
T-shirts and handing out ANC pamphlets and material inside the registration station. A direct contravention of the Electoral Act.7. Inside registration stations there are no way to distinguish between IEC officials and ANC officials. The President and the Deputy President of the UDM experienced first hand the level of confusion and ANC biased in the registration process. When they wanted to complete the registration form, they were confronted with an ANC form and not a registration form. The UDM took these forms and other ANC documentation from the registration station to hand in as part of the complaint. The ANC official though confronted with this continued as if nothing happened and with us and the media present, took the form of an unexpected member of the public.8.Within the IEC confusion reigns. Three calls to the same number provided three completely different answers – and that on a basic question like what is the rule regarding where one should register: should it be where you stay, where you work, a choice of those or can you register at any point?
1: You can
register where ever you want.
We can laugh about the situation, we can make jokes about the situation, and urban legends will develop as a result of the situation. The fact of the matter remains that the South African democracy is under threat. ;At the end of this weekend millions of South Africans would not have been able to take the first step in what is a fundamental right enshrined in our constitution. The IEC must take responsibility for the threat the South African democracy is under.
South Africans are entitled to have answers to the following
Will they be removed and replaced by competent people?The IEC is serving the people of South Africa. They are accountable for all their actions and for the money that they spend to the South African tax payer and voter public – not to any political party and definitely not to the ANC government. There can be no talk of an African Renaissance, South Africa as the custodians of democracy or of South Africa playing a leading role in Africa if we do not get our own house in order. Countries with less infrastructure than South Africa run elections and the administration of elections far more efficiently and effectively. What South Africans experienced today is unjust and an insult to the years of struggle for a liberated and democratic South Africa.