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South Africa’s election countdown begins

By Crystal van Vyk
Posted on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 16:42

Political party leaders including ANC leader, President Jacob Zuma and Democratic Alliance (DAL leader Helen Zille have travelled the breadth of the country canvassing votes ahead of the 7 May polls.

The country’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says there are 29 political parties contesting the polls, three more than five years ago.

The Western Cape, the IEC says, will be the most contested province, with 26 parties contesting, while Gauteng is second with 22.

“The voters’ roll reflects a total of 80.80% of registered voters when compared against the estimated voting age population according to estimates from Statistics South Africa,” the elections body said.

Gauteng has the highest number of voters with just over 6 million followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 5.1 million voters.

Meanwhile, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), a body overseeing broadcasting legislation and compliance, has received yet another complaint over perceived bias from the national broadcaster in the run up to the elections.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) claim the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) banned their election adverts, a charge the broadcaster denies.

“We did not ban the advert, we rejected the advert,” SABC said, adding that it felt the advertisement incited violence.

Butt EFF is sticking to its guns, insisting the advertisement was banned, as the broadcaster is biased towards the ruling ANC.

The SABC “should allow people to judge for themselves which party to vote for instead of banning advertisements,” EFF leader, Julius Malema said.

Earlier this month, the DA also lodged a complaint with ICASA after the SABC canned its advert, also on the charge that it incited violence.

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