South Africa Electoral Commission Denies Accrediting Zanu PF Party as Election Observer

Chief executive of the Electoral Commission of South Africa, Sy Mamabolo. File Picture: Bongani Shilubane / Independent Newspapers
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JOHANNESBURG – The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) clarified on Tuesday that Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party has not been invited or accredited as an official observer for the upcoming May 29 general elections, amidst concerns raised by the African Transformation Movement (ATM).

Sy Mamabolo, the chief executive officer of the electoral commission, made the remarks following a letter from Vuyo Zungula, the leader of ATM, expressing grave concerns over reports suggesting Zanu PF’s participation as an observer in South Africa’s elections.

Zungula’s letter, addressed to the IEC and Parliament, emphasized the need to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process and maintain trust in democratic institutions.

ATM president Vuyo Zungula. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

The ATM leader urged against allowing Zanu PF’s participation, stating it would undermine fundamental democratic principles.

Last week, reports in Zimbabwean state media, including The Herald, suggested that Zanu PF had been invited by its ally, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, to join its campaign team for the upcoming elections.

A supporter of the ruling Zanu PF shows off shoes with her party’s colours. File Picture: Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters

However, Mamabolo clarified that the IEC has no involvement in Zanu PF’s alleged presence in the country and confirmed that the former liberation movement of Zimbabwe would not partake in the elections as an observer.

“We have nothing to do really as a commission with their presence in their country. Zanu PF is not an accredited observer mission. The commission has not approved them, has not accredited them,” Mamabolo stated, addressing concerns raised by Zungula.

The clarification from the IEC comes amidst heightened scrutiny and anticipation ahead of the general elections, with political parties and stakeholders closely monitoring the electoral process to ensure transparency and fairness.