IEC sacks official over the leaking of candidate lists

todayMarch 12, 2024 53

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An official of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has been fire for leaking the ANC and MK Party’s lists of candidates.

Parties had until Friday last week to submit the lists to the electoral body.

In less than a few hours after the deadline, the ANC and MK names of potential lawmakers surfaced on social media, revealing some of the controversial names that could potentially head to parliament after the May elections.

High-ranking officials implicated in the state capture report, including Gwede Mantashe, Supra Mahumapelo, Malusi Gigaba, Thabang Makwetla were among the controversial figures on the list, sparking a public outcry about the governing party’s seemingly nonchalant attitude to the public’s frustration and dwindling trust over its commitment to ridding the organisation of individuals who are deemed as corrupt.

A jaw dropping feature on the MK Party list, led by former President Jacob Zuma, was the name of Bishop Stephen Zondo who is currently on trial for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting women at his church.

IEC’s electoral manager, Mawethu Mosery, says the official had also downloaded lists of other political parties.

He has, however, assured parties that their other confidential information, besides the cited lists, has not been compromised.

“We are still continuing with the investigation of where the staff members sent this information and working with the Information Regulator, we are still prospecting on how we deal with the individuals who then received the information, and what did they do with that information, given that it carries personal information.”

Moseery says, in future, they will look into limiting who has access to sensitive information, which includes political parties’ candidate lists.

An investigation into the motive behind the leak has been launched, while the involvement of other officials has not been ruled out.

The ANC, who were dealt a blow, have commended the IEC for its swift response to the incident.

The party’s national spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri, says they are relieved that the act was not a result of a security breach, but rather the neglectful conduct of an individual.

“The conduct of the implicated official has jeopardised the personal details of all the individuals on our candidate list.”

She further reiterated the party’s confidence in the IEC, ahead of the hotly contested May 29 polls.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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