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The ASRI Report

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
19 April 2024 | 13:30 SAST
2-minute read

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has dismissed the uMkhonto we Sizwe Party’s (MKP) call for the resignation of Janet Love. The demand followed Love’s remarks in January that former president Jacob Zuma would not be eligible to run as a candidate in the South African general elections due to his criminal record.

Analysts suggest that this is another political tactic used in an attempt to discredit the IEC. Political parties aim to raise doubts about the election process and its outcomes, says research director at the Auwal Socioeconomic Research Institute (ASRI), Angelo Fick, in order to make it easier to contest election outcomes.

However, Fick notes that the IEC has a history of conducting elections responsibly over the past 30 years.

“I think its important for South Africans to remind ourselves that the IEC has behaved impeccably in 30 years of elections,” Fick said earlier on Radio Islam’s ASRI Report.

Meanwhile, the Patriotic Alliance’s (PA) formation of a coalition with five small Western Cape parties is seen as unlikely to significantly challenge the dominance of other parties in the region, given the limited presence and influence of these smaller parties, which are mainly concentrated in rural areas.

“My sense is that this is rhetoric, and it creates the false impression that one has more support than one knows one has,” Fick says.

This can also potentially be used as a potential political tactic to discredit the election process and the IEC, Fick explains, because “if the results come in and you don’t have [the support that] you promised people, you then have grounds to use that uncertainty to suggest that there is some problem with the process.”

In another development, the dissolution of the National Student Financial Assistance Scheme (NSFAS) board last week on the basis of mismanagement and maladministration should have been done a long time ago, Fick says.

The delayed intervention by the Minister exacerbates challenges faced by learners relying on NSFAS funding for their education and poses a threat to the stability and integrity of South Africa’s higher education institutions.

Fick notes that despite repeated instances of crisis and mismanagement within the Ministry of Higher Education, there appears to be a lack of accountability. Ministers like Dr Blade Nzimande, who have been in their positions for extended periods, must be held responsible for overseeing and managing processes within their portfolios effectively.

“The concern that one has is that, like the Minister of Basic Education, the Minister of Higher Education sits in a portfolio. The president sees these kinds of things and does not seem interested in removing these people from their positions of power. They’ve superannuated in these posts. This is not Dr Nzimande’s first attempt at this ministry,” Fick says.

Timely intervention is crucial to address issues in the tertiary education sector, which is vital for economic development, social stability, and infrastructure maintenance and improvement.

“And here, the crisis in the TVET system is probably much more alarming than the crisis induced in the university system,” Fick says.

Listen to the ASRI Report on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.

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