'It was the most complex, highly contested since 1994' - IEC on 2019 elections

2019-05-11 19:03
Cyril Ramaphosa looks at the screen as the official results of the 2019 elections are announced. (Chante Schatz, News24)

The rise of social media added a layer of oversight to the Electoral Commission of South Africa's (IEC) voting process during this year's election, commission CEO Sy Mamabolo said during his speech on Saturday evening. 

Speaking at the announcement of the final results in Pretoria, Mamabolo said these elections were the "most complex, highly contested and logistically demanding" since the dawn of democracy. 

He said the rise of social media added to the IEC's monitoring which only served to enhance the quality and integrity of the commission's future. 

"They have tested all of us like never before, despite these challenges it is our controvertible belief we have come through this election even stronger as a commission, as a country and as the people of South Africa," Mamabolo said. 

'Twists and turns'

He said the election process was a journey of 'twist and turns' of political maturity in the one hand and intense contestation in the other.

The IEC was plagued by a number of objections from smaller parties who complained of irregularities. The DA had also called for an audit of the election results after a number of voters took to social media to show cracks in the IEC's process. 

This led to small parties calling for a recount of the elections.  

READ: ATM back outs of legal action of smaller parties on election

Mamabolo added that while the exponential growth of political parties presented a great choice to the voters it created a number of challenges to the commission.

These included significant cost for ballot papers, space at voting stations for party agents and long cumbersome ballot papers for voters. 


Mamabolo lambasted media reports on irregularities adding that most of these reports focused on minor cases. He said observer missions had shown that the larger voters majority approved of the voting process. 

Mamabolo said 97% of sampled voters found election procedures free and fair. 

Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan who was representing, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) on its observer mission also endorsed the election as free and fair. 

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