Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Secretary Keireng Zuze is confident that the organisation could carry out its mandate adequately if allowed to operate as a corporate body.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members on Wednesday, Zuze appeared skeptical about the independence of IEC, seeing the corporate way as the best option.
“We feel we are not fully independent and are lobbying for a corporate business instead,” Zuze argued when pressed by PAC member Tati East MP Samson Guma.
Under the Electoral Amendment Act passed by Parliament recently, aspirant candidates vying for council and Parliament candidates in the coming national elections 2019 will be subjected to P500 and P5 000 fees respectively, a move Zuze believes will sustain her envisaged body corporate in the process.
Initially candidates popped out P500 and P1 000 for positions respectively – a paltry sum prompting the same would-be councillors and legislators to fail to claim refunds.
“The candidates do not come to our offices for refunds. The monies still pile at the offices,” Zuze earlier indicated when questioned by Dithapelo Keorapetse, another PAC member who was worried the new initiative had the potential to scare away credible and substantive individuals because of skyrocketing charges.
Under the new arrangement, the charges will be no longer be refunded except in the event of death or postponement of the elections – a move that will see Zuze’s body corporate stand the test of time.
With a 5 percent votes during the national elections, the old Act provided the candidates for refund but they did not bother as they considered the fee too small for the move.
With the accumulated monies from the past, Zuze was convinced the project could succeed.
“The monies will even service them,” she concluded, referring to the aspirant candidates.