June 16, 2024

‘Don’t start trouble when there is no trouble’— Zuma warns against early election result declaration


Former South African President Jacob Zuma has called for a delay in announcing the results of the 2024 general elections, warning that a premature declaration would be a “provocation.” Zuma’s statements came during a late-night press conference at the national Results Operation Centre (ROC) in Gallagher Estate, Midrand, on Saturday.

Zuma, now leading the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party, emphasized that any announcement by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Sunday would provoke unrest among his supporters. He highlighted that the MK Party, along with at least 20 other parties, has lodged formal objections with the IEC, alleging vote rigging and demanding a recount and a commission of inquiry into the election process.

“There is a tendency in this country to ignore serious matters,” Zuma remarked, expressing concerns about the integrity of the election results. He criticized the IEC for what he perceives as a rush to declare results, saying, “Institutions can’t then say, ‘we can’t listen to you and let us rush rush’, because that is provoking people, in reality.”

Zuma’s arrival at the ROC on Sunday night reportedly brought operations to a standstill, as he reiterated the need for thorough scrutiny of the election complaints. He stressed the importance of transparency and accountability, questioning the IEC’s commitment to addressing the objections raised.

The IEC plans to declare the election results at an event on Sunday, with President Cyril Ramaphosa expected to participate in the ceremony. However, Zuma’s strong warnings and the collective objections from multiple parties cast a shadow over the anticipated announcement.

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