The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the North West has warned political parties and independent candidates contesting the local government elections against breaking the code of conduct.
Parties and candidates on Tuesday signed the Electoral Code of Conduct in Mahikeng.
IEC Commissioner, Mosotho Moepya, said every party must adhere to the code.
“The code of conduct prohibits certain conducts, amongst others, no party or candidate may use language or act in a way that may provoke others. No party or candidate may use violence during an election. No party or candidate may intimidate other candidates or members of parties, their representatives, their supporters or their candidates...not even voters for that matter. No party or candidate may publish false or defamatory allegations knowingly in connection with this election at all.
“A party, its candidates, representatives or members and a ward candidate must at all times know that they are ambassadors for this code of conduct. No party or candidate may plagiarize the symbols of other parties,” Moepya said.
IEC chairperson in the North West, Dr Tumelontle Thiba, said more than 50 political parties are contesting this year's municipal elections.
“We have 52 parties which are currently interested in this 2021 election contest. We also have 79 to 80 independent candidates, which is a major difference between the 2016 elections that had 45 candidates, which means the number has almost doubled. And we've got 31 parties, the number has almost tripled. So we are looking forward to what might appear to be a challenge, but we know that we are ready for this,” said Thiba.
North West Provincial Deputy Police Commissioner, Patrick Asaneng, warned people who will try to disrupt the elections.
“We have made sure that all the voting districts are adequately covered. We have done what we call the intelligence threat assessment. And we can assure the people of the province and the IEC that when we are called to act we will not hesitate,” Asaneng said.
The IEC appealed to candidates to follow correct procedures when raising concerns.