'We have SADC and AU': IEC's Sy Mamabolo refutes claims of solely observing 2024 elections



Published May 28, 2024


The Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), Sy Mamabolo, stated that it was not accurate to suggest that they were overseeing the elections independently without significant involvement from international observers.

"It is not a correct characterisation to say that we are observing our own elections," he said.

Mamabolo addressed queries from the media regarding the participation of international observers, such as the UN, in the elections.

He said the IEC has roped in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) as the observers of the 2024 national and provincial elections.

The general elections will be held on Wednesday.

The IEC briefed the media on the final day of the special votes on Wednesday at the National Results Operations Centre (ROC) at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

During a media briefing on Monday, the IEC's deputy chief electoral officer, Mawethu Mosery, confirmed that approximately 170 election observers have begun their work across the country.

Of the 170 observers, Mosery said 18 of them were international organisations.

South Africans began casting their votes on a special voting on Monday and Tuesday. The general voting will be held on Wednesday.

Special votes included some of the IEC officials visiting the homes of people living with disability, as well as the elderly.

According to Mosery, observers have already started observing and will do so until the end of elections. He stated that they briefed them on how they conduct their elections.

He was responding to allegations that the Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party had broken into the IEC offices in KwaZulu Natal (KZN).

Mosery said they were in talks with the party on the matter.

“The incident in KZN, the Provincial Electoral Officer had an occasion to meet with MKP's leadership in KZN and they have established their basic rules of engagement around the work that is taking place during elections.

“However, the incident on its own is still a matter of processing with IEC and the police, whether there will be criminal charges, we will know in due course,” Mosery said.

He said they were in talks with the party on the matter.

Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela defended the party members and said "They identified what seemed to be a suspicious activity and they intervened."

He said it was not illegal to any citizen including MKP members intervening to any suspicious actions towards elections.

Adding to Mosery, IEC's deputy chief electoral officer Masego Sheburi said after people have voted, they will keep the ballots in a safe storage until the start of counting.

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