IEC Media Briefing on Readiness for Elections

The Electoral Commission held a media briefing on Tuesday to update the public on their preparations for the upcoming national and provincial elections on May 29. CEO Sy Mamabolo provided updates on out-of-country voting, Election Day procedures, and the alleged involvement of Zanu PF as observers

Photo by: Facebook Electoral Commission South Africa

Mamabolo started off naming the critical days that are coming up before Election Day. Out-of-country voting will start on May 17, followed by special votes on May 27 and 28, before the main elections on May 29. 

Furthermore, Mamabolo highlighted the three types of ballots voters will receive on the Election Day: a national ballot, a blue regional ballot, and a pink ballot for provincial legislatures. “We wish to remind voters to make only one mark against a party or candidate of choice. In other words, one ballot 1 mark”, he stressed. Voters are to vote at the voting station, where they are registered, with rare exceptions for people voting outside their district. Requests for such exceptions close on May 17. Registered voters are urged to verify their voting station before Election Day. They can use the voting finder application on the IEC website, SMS your ID number to 32810, or phone their contact center on 0800 118000.

Mamabolo addressed issues of transparency and security in response to questions from journalists. He said that the Commission encourages party and independent candidates to appoint party agents, even for voting outside of the country. He emphasized the importance of transparency in the electoral process, welcoming scrutiny from observers.

Journalists also raised concerns about the involvement of certain observer groups, including Zanu PF. Mamabolo clarified: “We did receive a letter from Mr. Zula. complaining about the presence of the alleged presence of Zanu PF. We have nothing to do really as a Commission with their presence in the country. Zanu PF is not an accredited observer mission. The Commission has not approved them, has not accredited them. So they won't be observing these elections and communication in that regard. This has been made available to Mr. Zula”

On the topic of ballot security, Mamabolo assured that ballots cast outside the country would be securely transported and counted: “Once the ballots are back in the country, they will not be opened until the counting commences." He emphasized the Commission's commitment to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.

The CEO also addressed internal challenges faced by the Commission, including the signature issue involving the MK party. He stressed the importance of conducting investigations quickly to confirm the authenticity of the signatures.

Mamabolo emphasized the importance of voter participation on May 29th.

Done by Veerle Kroon

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