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State Security await full report on IEC protest saga

State Security Minister David Mahlobo says authorities are still awaiting a full report on Saturday’s incident at the Independent Electoral Commission’s Results Operations Centre in Pretoria.

During President Jacob Zuma’s speech four female EFF members protested, standing silently in front of him carrying placards with messages: “I am 1 in 3”, “#10 years later”, “Khanga”, and “Remember Khwezi”. These referred to the rape charge that President Zuma faced in 2005 and was cleared of the following year.

Mahlobo says they’re awaiting a full report on what he calls a security breach.

“We should be getting full report to say what’s happening. Because that particular Results Operations Centre, in terms of our security forces that were there, including the security arrangement by the host, the IEC, the Minister of State Security and Police, should be able to get a report to say how did some of those security breaches actually happen on the day. We will not be able to go to details and speculate.”

Meanwhile, IEC Deputy Chairperson, Terry Tselane, has dismissed claims that the protests during President Zuma’s speech were choreographed by the Electoral Commission.

ANCWL Pesident, Bathabile Dlamini, is demanding an apology from IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini over its handling of the protest by EFF members.

Tsalane says the IEC had no prior knowledge of the planned protest.

“The commission will sit and consider a solution after the formal complaint from Bathebile 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.”

Tselane has, however, acknowledged it was within the four ladies to protest.

“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.”

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