SADC countries, churches give SA elections 'thumbs up'

2016-08-05 16:44
IEC voting station. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Pretoria - Despite the unusually high number of election-related killings leading up to the local government elections, the actual voting process has received a thumbs up from observer missions.

The SA Council of Churches (SACC) as well as the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) electoral commissions forum gave South Africa a “well done” during their feedback briefing on Friday afternoon.

SACC’s general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana told reporters at the IEC’s results observations centre in Tshwane said South Africans had done well to ensure that elections turned out peacefully.

“The SACC congratulates the people of South Africa for peaceful elections that saw millions of people flock to voting stations without any fears, save for the unfriendly weather in parts of the country.”

He also thanked the leaders of political parties who ensured their members behaved in a democratic and mature manner.

“Gone are the days of no-go areas and the real danger to life and limb for having a different political view,” Mpumlwana said.

The Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries’ chairperson Justice Mahapela Lehohla from Lesotho said although they had limited resources and could not visit a wide-range of voting stations across the country, the ones they had visited had followed the SADC standard of voting procedures.

He congratulated South Africans, the IEC as well as government “on the orderly and peaceful municipal elections whose outcome the ECF SADC observer mission believes, will reflect the will of the people”.

Both missions cited minor glitches such as the openings of voting stations, the delays in voting based on lack of ballot boxes in some areas, as well as the fact that some voters were dressed in party regalia within the voting precinct, as something to pay more attention to ahead of the next elections.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

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