Election observers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region have handed down their findings on South Africa's 2019 elections, saying the Independent Electoral Commission may want to revisit its laws and see how it can tighten some of the loopholes experienced this week.
The observers visited a number of voting stations to assess whether the country’s polls were free and fair.
There have been a number of objections by various political parties over the voting process after irregularities were highlighted - including concerns of voter fraud.
Eyewitness News reporter Theto Mahlakoana says while observers admit that this is a problem, they hope that it can be resolved within the ambit of the law.
So we hope that those messages from the African observers will drill through to most of these parties which are hell-bent on showing us just how angry they are but to do so within the kind of provisions that are there in law because there is still a lot of room for them to engage with the IEC.— Theto Mahlakoana, Senior political reporter - EWN
She says about 30 parties who have threatened legal action against the IEC amid their calls for an electiosn re-run, walked out of a meeting set up to resolve these issues with the electoral commission.
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Meanwhile, Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) executive secretary Lawson Naidoo, who was among the observers, says by and large the elections went smoothly and there is very little to suggest it was not free and fair.
He says, however, the IEC could have handled its response to allegations of multiple voting a lot better.
They could have taken the public into its confidence with a little bit more about the processes. With a little bit more openness they could have tried to quell this a bit earlier.— Lawson Naidoo, Executive secretary - Casac
This was quite clearly not an orchestrated campaign by any political party or any group of individuals; it was people who learnt about this thing through social media and went to test the system.— Lawson Naidoo, Executive secretary - Casac
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