Johannesburg - As the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) grapples to audit votes cast to resolve allegations of double voting, its former chairperson Brigalia Bam said the 2019 general elections were the most difficult of the democratic era.
Bam said the country was different in 1994 as South Africans were celebrating freedom and casting their votes in the first democratic elections.
''These are the most difficult elections ever. Those of us who did elections before would be aware that the context was different then. South Africans were celebrating freedom and had fresh memories of the past... they were not talking about the present, that is the difference,'' she said as she took a walk at the IEC national operations centre in Pretoria, accompanied by former first lady, Zanele Mbeki.
''Now its more different...that was the spirit of the people. Now its no more the celebrations. The more democracy grows, the more it becomes difficult...so this is to be expected.''
Bam headed the IEC between 1999 and 2006. She was deputy to retired Judge Johann Kriegler until 1999 when he resigned as IEC chairperson in 1999. She was appointed to replace Kriegler to head the Chapter 9 institution. The former IEC chairperson is credited and respected for her smooth management of the electoral system in South Africa under her watch.