The chief electoral officer of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) Sy Mamabolo yesterday shot down claims that their funders – SA ‘taxpayers’ – have a sway over its decision to challenge former President Jacob Zuma’s eligibility to be an MP.

The IEC yesterday briefed the media on the state of readiness for the elections as the deadline for voters to cast their vote outside their registered voting station closes on Friday and thousands of South Africans abroad prepare to cast their ballots at various missions this weekend.

The IEC recently approached the Constitutional Court seeking a legal order to have Zuma removed from the list to Parliament and declaring him unfit to serve in the National Assembly.

This is after the Electoral Court last month ruled that Zuma would appear on the ballot for the elections, representing the MK Party.

The court's decision was based on the fact that Zuma could not appeal the judgment of the apex court, which sentenced him to jail for contempt of court.

BusinessLIVE reports that the IEC said Zuma is the registered leader of the MKP, and ‘he is the person whose photograph is on the ballot paper for the party’.

‘Whether he is a candidate, it has no bearing on that aspect because you are on the ballot if you are the registered leader of the party, irrespective of whether you are a candidate in the election. There won’t be any effect on the ballot paper,’ said Mamabolo. 

IoL reports that he maintained that the IEC had no external funders other than the government through its tax base, adding that the commission was not biased towards anyone, including Zuma. This after IEC commissioner Janet Love, who is a former ANC NEC member and MP, said Zuma did not qualify to be in Parliament.

‘The government funds us to carry out our constitutional and statutory mandate. The IEC is not biased, it carries out the constitutional provisions and ensures that everybody meets the matters or rather everybody operates by the provisions as well as the law,’ he explained.

Mamabolo said there is nothing biased about their decision to go to the Constitutional Court.

‘We have got to ensure that anyone is compliant to law, which is why the commission went to Constitutional Court,’ he said. 

The apex court has since reserved the judgment on the IEC and Zuma matter.

It also dismissed Zuma's application to have six judges recused from the appeal case by the IEC.

Full BusinessLIVE report

First report on the IoL site