PA accused of voter intimidation at registration weekend

Party members carrying automatic assault rifles were photographed at voter registration events, though the party denies the evidence of the images





Feb 7, 2024

PA accused of voter intimidation at registration weekend

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has voiced apprehension over reported incidents of voter intimidation during the recent voter registration weekend, urging political parties to denounce such actions.

According to the DA's Werner Horn, two incidents occurred during the registration period that contravene the Electoral Code outlined by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The first was the now-regular occurrence of EFF members singing pro-genocide political slogans in Limpopo.

But closer to home, the DA also accused members of the Patriotic Alliance of carrying automatic weapons at a voting station in Eerste River, Western Cape, deeming such behavior unacceptable and incompatible with democratic principles.

The party has reported these incidents to provincial IEC offices and awaits action from the commission. Horn emphasized the importance of swift and decisive measures in line with electoral regulations.

However, the Patriotic Alliance (PA) refuted the allegations, asserting that individuals seen carrying weapons were part of the PA security detail, trained and licensed personnel accompanying party president Gayton McKenzie. McKenzie has not produced paperwork showing their PSIRA certification or security company affiliation.

PA's national spokesperson, Steve Motale, criticized the DA for diverting attention from their "dwindling support" and clarified that the weapons in question were not automatic, despite photographic evidence to the contrary.

This wouldn’t be the first time the PA have been accused of misbehaviour in Cape elections, though the recent by-election in Swartland saw misconduct across the board by the three main contenders, the ANC, DA and PA, including allegations of interference with ballot boxes and electoral oversight by DA councillors and DA-aligned municipal employees.

Since its launch, the PA has been dogged by allegations of deep gang ties, particularly to the 26 gang, of which McKenzie was a high ranking member.

SAPS Major-General Jeremy Vearey claimed early in the party’s career that the PA was led by members of the 26s numbers prison gang, which McKenzie denied.

The PA's focus is on the Western Cape's coloured community, but adheres firmly to the ANC in coalitions, with DA insiders accusing McKenzie of only trading coalition deals for graft.

The IEC, meanwhile, reported a smooth registration process, with over half a million registrations recorded across voting stations nationwide. Despite the DA's concerns, the IEC did not confirm whether it was investigating the complaint by the deadline provided.

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