COSATU appeals to political parties and candidates to abide by the Electoral Act in their excitement for the May 29 elections

12 March 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) appeals to all political parties and candidates to abide by the Electoral Act and other laws of the Republic in their excitement for the May 29 2024 elections. 

Whilst it is understandable that parties and candidates are looking forward to election day, and some are just bored and many are simply desperate for a quick headline or click on social media, they do need to behave with some degree of sobriety and common sense.  Those that struggle with this and who threaten to break the laws or instigate others to do so, should be collected by the South African Police Service as well as receive the appropriate sanctions from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Court.

With two and a half months of the elections season remaining, we have had to endure unacceptable behaviour from several political parties and their candidates.  These range from the promises of a civil war by a candidate of the MK Party, to the repeated threats by the Economic Freedom Fighters against any teachers employed by the IEC to assist with the smooth running of the elections and more recently a somewhat strange letter by the Democratic Alliance appealing to various governments from countries in the West with a history of flawed elections to help run South Africa’s elections!

South Africa has many issues that need to be sorted out and many challenges that defy belief.  It’s natural for citizens to be cynical about everything in a democracy.  However, these should not temper with reality.  We have a proud track record painstakingly fought for over many decades prior to 1994 and collectively built and nourished since, of running free, fair and credible democratic elections with a high turnout. 

The May 29th elections will be our 7th national and provincial elections, not counting the 6 local elections and countless by-elections.  The IEC has an enviable record of running our elections without fear or favour that is recognised across the political spectrum, leave aside the little letter sent by the DA to some Embassies. 

We have built a culture of political parties and voters accepting elections results, even when their preferred parties lose elections and power.  The Inkatha Freedom Party accepted defeat in KwaZulu-Natal to the African National Congress (ANC) many times.  The ANC itself accepted the loss of office in the Western Cape as well as major cities across the country without a moment’s hesitation. 

Elections come with the usual drama and silliness, but our aspirant public representatives should carry themselves with some dignity.  They definitely should not dare to undermine the rule of law.  The IEC, Electoral Court and the SAPS should not hesitate to reign in those political delinquents who are tempted to colour outside the lines, especially those that threaten violence.  Democracies are noisy, but we should not be condoning political vandals.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687