Activists and political parties reject Mashatile’s proposed date for General Elections

ATM President Vuyo Zungula

ATM President Vuyo Zungula

Published Feb 19, 2024


Putting the election date on a Friday is the ANC’s way of trying to stifle voter turnout.

Inkatha Freedom Party National spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa cautioned the ANC from confirming May 24 as the voting day for the upcoming National General Elections.

Hlengwa said this at the weekend when he was addressing members of his organisation in Durban in preparation for their manifesto launch set to be held at Moses Mabhida Stadium next month.

“We don’t support having the elections on May 24, 2024 (a Friday) as hinted by Deputy President Paul Mashatile. This is meant to suppress voter turnout as that will create a long weekend.

“They are deliberately trying to stifle the voter turnout, to prevent people from going to vote. Every time we have elections in South Africa, they have always taken place on a Wednesday to maximise voter turnout,” the IFP spokesperson said.

Hlengwa emphasised that holding the elections on a Friday would be an epic failure, and advised that the elections should instead be held on May 29.

He continued to say that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s failure to announce the election date was a sign of a man who was shaking and terrified of losing elections.

Activist and Forum for Change spokesperson Dennis Bloem said it was shocking to hear Mashatile issuing an election date as that was a clear demonstration that his act sought to undermine the president.

Bloem said it was only the president who could make such a pronouncement in the country.

“For us, it is very clear that something very serious was brewing inside the Presidency.

“Deputy President Paul Mashatile was sidelined during the State of The Nation Address (SONA), he was not on the speaker’s list. As the forum, we say if it is true that the government is thinking of the 24 of May as the election date, then we must say it loud and clear that we reject that date,” he added.

He echoed Hlengwa’s sentiments that Friday election date would never work, which he said the majority of young people would use the long weekend for a holiday instead of exercising their democratic right to vote.

“We are saying that date must be on a Wednesday,” concluded Bloem.

Reacting to Mashatile’s announcement, African for Transformation Movement (ATM) leader Vuyo Zungula said the ANC was playing politics, saying that it was trying to play the game unfairly.

“The president was supposed to announce the election date during the State of the Nation Address. Then a day before it, his spokesperson announced that he would only do so in 15 days. Now we hear this,” said Zungula.

He said the governing party’s end game demonstrated that it was not for the rule of law.

The Star