Civil society observers to be deployed nationwide for elections

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The 2024 elections will see one of the biggest contingents of civil society observers going out to voting stations across the country on the 29th of May. This was revealed at a media briefing held by the Civil Society organisation Defend Our Democracy (DOD) in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Thursday.

DOD reveals their Election Watch observation campaign plans for election day next week.

Over 1 200 election observers from 86 different organisations that are part of this campaign will be stationed at voting stations across the country on election day.

One of the organisations part of the Election Watch campaign is the Evangelical Alliance of South. Its spokesperson Lydia Cindi is appealing for ethical leadership post-election.

“So we had to encourage our citizens, ourselves…to go and vote. Our democracy was brought by the lives and blood of people who laid it for us, for our freedom. So it will be an indictment on us if we do not go and cast a vote. And we’re also asking that our leaders be asking and greeting as citizens of this country for ethical leadership, to make sure that you are there in parliament, not for yourself, selfish reasons, but for the reasons of these people, the people of South Africa.”

Incidents of violence

Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele has condemned acts of violence in some parts of the country ahead of the elections next week.

Incidents of attacks on members of political parties during electioneering have become widespread in parts of the country. 

In Tshwane, Democratic Alliance (DA) members were allegedly attacked by a group of unknown people in Mshongoville in Attredgeville this week whilst putting up election campaign posters.

More incidents of political intolerance have also occurred in the North West and Limpopo.

Cele says political parties should work with the police to ensure the smooth running of the elections.  

“As we observe the space going forward, we have found some little bit of stabilisation than other elections. I hope prosecutors themselves will take the matter of breaking the law very seriously but we are also speaking with political parties themselves and they are coming together in the monitoring of the elections.”

VIDEO | Bheki Cele slams election-related violence:  

-Additional reporting by Puseletso Mokeona