IEC Deputy Chair dismisses protest claims
Sun, 07 Aug 2016 11:01:23
IEC Deputy Chairperson Terry Tselane has dismissed claims that Saturday’s protest during President Jacob Zuma’s speech was choreographed by the Electoral Commission.
ANCWL President Bathabile Dlamini is demanding an apology from IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini over the Commission’s handling of the protest by EFF members.
A group of women clad in black disrupted the ceremony with a silent placard demonstration.
The anti-rape protest was in reference to President Jacob Zuma’s rape trial 10 years ago by his accuser known as Khwezi. The President was acquitted.
Tselane says the IEC had no prior knowledge of the planned protest.
“The Commission will sit and consider a solution after the formal complaint from Bathabile Dlamini. There was a protest, we were not aware of it, we had planned our programme accordingly. We were all taken by surprise that the protest was organised in the manner that it was, but we knew nothing about it. We didn’t have time as an organisation to sit and think about what course of action to take, that is why we allowed the situation to proceed and we did not want to disrupt the President’s speech. Of course it’s the right of any South African to protest, it is protected by the Constitution. I would have preferred that it could happen differently but still the protest could not be banned.”