IEC results centre (File)
Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) chairperson Glen Mashinini declared the 2019 national and provincial elections free and fair, during an official announcement ceremony in Pretoria on Saturday night.
Mashinini and his leadership team, including chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo and his deputy Janet Love, unveiled the final high level results and National Assembly seat allocations.
Mamabolo, speaking before Mashinini, said this year's elections were the "most complex, highly contested, logistically demanding" in South Africa's history.
"They have tested all of us like never before," said Mamabolo of the elections.
He added that the institution and the country had emerged stronger.
"Once again we have shown the world that despite our differences and challenges we still unite under a vision of a common destiny for our country as a democratic, free, just and equal society."
Later, Mashinini said: "Twenty-five years on we can say we remain rooted on the ideals of democracy and human rights for all."
The vote-counting process of the election was marred by claims that the indelible ink could be easily be removed, compromising the security of the ballot by allowing so-called double voting. Several parties raised concerns about the integrity of the results, with a group smaller parties demanding a full audit and a re-run of the vote.
They also threatened the IEC with legal action. This sparked fears that the announcement of results and the declaration of the elections would be delayed.
As a comprise - and to ensure the integrity of the vote - the IEC announced it had sought the assistance of the Statistician-General to conduct a sample audit of 1020 polling stations.
On Saturday, News24 reported that the African Transformation Movement had backed out of the court challenge launched by 27 smaller parties.