IEC results centre opens for ‘special elections’

2014-04-30 16:13

President Jacob Zuma visited the Independent Electoral Commission’s national results centre, which was officially opened today to mark the beginning of South Africa’s fifth general elections.

Zuma attended the event but did not give a speech and left it to IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula, her deputy Terry Tselane and executive officer Mosotho Moepye to address the launch.

The launch of the centre, which is situated at the Pretoria Events Centre, was attended by more than 100 dignitaries including ambassadors, directors-general and Tshwane mayor Sputla Ramokgopa.

Representatives of various political parties were also present.

Zuma, Tlakula and Tselane later went walkabout to assess the facilities which include 450 computers, media rooms and exhibitions on the country’s road to 20 years of democracy. They are all located on a massive 11 000m² of space.

Tselane said next week’s elections were “special” because the country was celebrating 20 years since the first democratic elections in 1994 and that people born that year will be voting for the first time.

Tlakula is facing an uncertain future as IEC chairperson as an Electoral Court inquiry will be held on Friday to decide if she should be removed for her role in the IEC’s R320 million lease saga. She looked unperturbed as she delivered her speech and thanked the public for responding positively to the commission’s campaigns to register South Africans to vote.

Elections will be held on May 7, but thousands of South Africans living and working abroad began casting their votes this morning in 108 countries around the world.

The number of parties contesting the national elections has increased from 26 in 2009 to 29 this year.

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