Election Monitoring Network head Nkosikhulule Nyembezi. Picture: Khaya Koko

Johannesburg - Despite a furore about alleged irregularities in the process, cautious optimism about the credibility of the 2019 elections has been espoused by an independent body with more than 900 observers around the country. 

Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, head of the Election Monitoring Network, which has stationed 100 independent observers in all provinces, including more than 40 international evaluators, said the organisation had not observed any serious incidents around the country, including no reports of transgressions of the law.   

“The common issues were that the zip-zip (scanning machine) was not working and so on. I think that the investment in the training of political parties and the election observers have worked out.

“This is because, where we have found minor disputes in a particular voting station, we worked on a system to try and resolve it there," Nyembezi said, speaking to Independent Media on Thursday.  

He said his organisation's role began long before the elections on Wednesday, where observers were in communities teaching people how to register, how to vote and teaching political tolerance.

“So, inside the voting stations, we observe whether or not the processes are working smoothly. Where there are disputes, we also work to try and neutralise the problems.

“This includes when election officials are not sure whether a person is supposed to vote at a particular station, the ballot is put in an envelope so that, when it comes to counting time, there is a consensus as to how to deal with that so that nothing is escalated for investigation," Nyembezi explained.

“So, we have been successful in saying that whatever has cropped up in the voting stations, it has been resolved there," he added. 

Nyembezi concluded by saying his observers were expecting that people would accept the results once they were finalised, and was happy that no major objections had been noted thus far.   

The Star