MK Party calls for IEC commissioner Love to resign, alleges bias

The uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party) has called for the resignation of Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Commissioner Janet Love, citing allegations of bias and misconduct.

The party’s decision comes after what they describe as “considerable reflection” on Love’s conduct. It says particularly in light of recent events surrounding the eligibility of former President Jacob Zuma as a candidate for the upcoming elections.

Accuses Love of blatant bias in favour of ANC

The party accuses Love of displaying blatant bias in favour of the ANC and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In a statement issued on Friday, the MK Party condemned Love’s actions. It stated that “Janet Love is highly vested in the outcomes of the upcoming elections. She cannot be trusted to oversee nor be involved in these elections”.

The party highlighted an incident on January 24, 2024. It says Love publicly declared that Zuma would not be eligible to participate in the parliamentary elections. She said this even before any official objection had been lodged, the party says.

Premature announcement of Zuma’s eligibility

The party asserts that Love’s premature pronouncement violated established IEC rules. It  demonstrated a clear conflict of interest. It added that Love is known to be a close confidante of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Despite subsequent objections raised against Zuma’s candidacy, Love continued to preside over the committee responsible for deciding on his eligibility. This further compromised her impartiality, according to the MK Party.

“At the time of Janet Love’s statement, no such objection had been filed. This made her actions both irregular and prejudicial to President Zuma and the MK Party.

“What made things worse is that she still presided in the committee responsible for deciding on President Zuma’s eligibility, instead of recusing herself. Despite the clear conflict of interest. This even after the obviously orchestrated objection which was launched by a member of the ANC.

“Such a rogue act of arrogance, has according to MK party, clearly undermined the credibility of the IEC. This includes its capacity to administer free and fair elections. [Elections] cannot afford to harbour any sense of bias and should be beyond reproach.”

Reference to Love’s role in DRC elections

The MK Party also referenced accusations against Love from four prominent opposition candidates in the DRC. They accused her of legitimising a flawed electoral process during an audit of the country’s voter registration.

These allegations raise concerns about Love’s involvement in electoral processes beyond South Africa’s borders. They further erode confidence in her impartiality, the party claims.

IEC given seven days to remove commissioner or face legal action

The party emphasised its commitment to upholding the integrity of South Africa’s electoral system. It called for Love’s immediate resignation from the IEC. The party warned that failure to resign within seven days would prompt them to explore legal avenues. This legal avenue will be solely to address the issue.

“Our commitment to free, fair, and credible elections is unwavering. We will take all necessary steps to ensure that South Africa’s electoral body remains independent and unbiased.

“Should Janet Love fail to resign in the next seven days, the MK Party reserves the right to pursue all available avenues. This includes approaching our courts.”

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