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Wednesday, 15 November 2023 22:30

EFF won't apologise for demanding Sadtu not to participate as election officers.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has responded to South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) for calling on him to withdraw and apologise for his comments that the union must stop its participation as election officers.

There will be voter registration this weekend, with the IEC calling on citizens to register and to update their details for the 2024 general elections.

Currently, there are more than 26 million eligible voters on the voters' roll.

There will be 23 296 voting stations across all provinces, with more than 72 000 people being recruited by the IEC to assist over the weekend.

In a tweet posted on Monday, the EFF called on its members to report SADTU members who work for the IEC. 

"SADTU is ANC, and we must defend our electoral system from thugs," said the EFF in a tweet. 

SADTU spokesperson Nomusa Cembi said members of trade unions should avail themselves to serve as election officers to ensure a free and fair election.  

"The statements made by the EFF demonstrate an aggravated level of ignorance of the rights and responsibilities of South Africans in supporting constitutional democracy.

"The EFF appears unable to distinguish between a trade union and a political party.

"Members of trade unions, including SADTU, have a right in law to be appointed as election officers if they meet the requirements."

Cembi said the EFF's statement borders on hate speech.   

"The statements of the EFF directed at SADTU members and by extension members of trade unions who participate as election officers border on hate speech, unfair discrimination and an incitement to harm such persons.

Sadtu called on Malema to apologise and withdraw the allegations against its members.

Malema said they won't retract nor apologize because Sadtu is biased to the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

In a recent tweet directed at Cosatu and Sadtu, Malema wrote: "You can go to hell; you can't do anything with all your affiliates combined."

"The statements are also calculated to frustrate the efforts of the IEC to conduct a free and fair election as has been the case since the dawn of democracy, added Cembi."

Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral Commission's Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said there is no policy on hiring SADTU members.

"The IEC has no policy to hire members of SADTU, no such policy exists in the IEC. What the IEC has done is elaborate and agreed a recruitment and selection criteria with political party's. SADTU has been part of those discussions.