IEC Defacing Election PostersIEC Warns Against Defacing Election Posters [Image: Independent Press]

As the election date approaches, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has warned against defacing or unlawfully removing election posters.

The IEC added that such actions constitute punishable offences and urged individuals to report any violations to the police. South Africans will vote on 29 May in one of the most contentious elections since 1994. The ANC faces a confidence crisis due to service delivery challenges and corruption.

It also faces an unusual challenge from former President Jacob Zuma, who dumped the party for a new outfit, the MK Party.

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IEC Warns Against Defacing Election Posters

IEC Warns Against Defacing Election Posters [Image: Shaun Dlanjwa]


During this campaign season, election posters facilitate free and fair campaigning.

IEC electoral officer in the Western Cape, Michael Hendricks, explained the concept of posters during elections:

“Posters are part of campaigning during elections, and that is why our legislation ensures that it’s a criminal offence for any person to deface or unlawfully remove the poster of any political party during this period because I think also it just goes against the environment that’s conducive to political campaigning. So, as the IEC, we call on everybody, not only political parties, to leave the posters up where they belong.”


IEL Appeals To The Public To Help Nab Culprits

Recently, a Western Cape official from the Land Party removed an opposition party poster, replacing it with that of his party. There was an uproar online as people called for Cape Town authorities to act.

Hendricks added:

“In terms of our legislation, it’s a criminal offence. If you see somebody doing something wrong like anything else, go and report it to the police. I think they are the ones that have the authority to investigate.


The Jail Time for Defacing Election Posters

Sy Mamabolo, Chief Electoral Officer of the IEC, said people who tear up posters risk facing five to ten years in jail.

Any party found guilty of defacing the posters of their opposition would be prosecuted through the Electoral Court.

By Rumpel

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