Sometimes we learn to accept defeat, says Sgudla after getting 0.24%

His is one of the scores of small political parties taking the IEC to court.


Co-founder of Mpumalanga’s new-born political party SANCOTA and eMalahleni businessman Themba ‘Masofa’ Sgudla has reacted to the 0.24% that his party got on 8 May 2019 general elections.

Sgudla said his defeat was the consequence of irregularities by the Electoral Commission (IEC) and “the fact that when we came we didn’t have experience of how the whole thing works”.

“Now we have mastered the system. We are one of the political parties that are taking the IEC to court because we are fixing the IEC to that when we contest in the future we are able to feel the independence of the IEC,” he said shortly after results were announced on Saturday evening.  

Basically, of all the 1.9 million registered voters in Mpumalanga only 2 884 voted for SANCOTA while 29 512 voted for the Freedom Front Plus, DA (118 915), EFF (155 573) and ANC (858 589).

The ANC got 70.58% in Mpumalanga, a decline from the 77% they got during the 2014 general elections. This translates into 22 seats in the 30-seat provincial legislature; a decline by 2 seats compared to the 24 they got in 2014.

The EFF got 12.79%, making it the new official opposition province, while the DA received 

9.77% followed by FF+ which got just over 2% or 1 seat in the legislature. 

SANCOTA and a string of other political parties are heading to court arguing that the 2019 general elections were not fair. 

They mention the instances of alleged double voting reported in the media, scanners at some station not working, not enough ballot papers and the allowing of people who were not registered to vote to cast their votes. 

Certified voters’ roll were changed on election day to allow those who were not registered, their lawyer said in a court paper seen by the 013NEWS reporter.



Sgudla says the independence of the IEC “should be felt by everybody in the country” and “it should not be IEC that claims to be independent but that independence”.

“For example when you go to a private hospital in the country you should not be told that the hospital is running things efficiently but you should feel that thing within you, ‘that that thing is a good hospital’,” said Sgudla.

“Same as the IEC. It should not go all over the places telling people that it is an independent body while we don’t feel it. South Africans don’t have confidence in the IEC,” he said.

He said they were calling for claim amongst their membership and “we should all of us wait for the outcomes of the court case”.

“We will fix the system and then contest a corrupt-free election. To our members, we know that the disappointment and bruises are running deep but sometimes it happens that as a human being sometimes you learn to accept defeat. It’s a long road,” Sgudla said. 

Meanwhile, Jimmy Manyi’s African Transformation Movement, which had been part of a protest by the scores of political parties at the IEC results centre in Tshwane and the battle against the IEC, has done an about-turn.

They say they now accept the outcomes of the election and cannot “hold the country to ransom”.

“The ATM is satisfied that the IEC has acted in good faith and professionally in answering to its institutional demands met continuously since its inception. The current statistical probe indicates a variance of around 1.3 percent, which, although not material, is also not acceptable,” said ATM. 

(edited by MLM) 

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