South African opposition parties on Monday (Feb 12) called for early elections as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wrestled with a leadership battle between President Jacob Zuma and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa. “We must proceed to the dissolution of parliament… subsequent to that, we move on to an early election,” Democratic Alliance (DA) party leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters, speaking alongside several opposition parties. The ANC’s executive committee held a special meeting on Monday, and could “recall” Zuma from office. But Zuma – who has refused to resign – would be under no constitutional obligation to obey the order.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of South Africa.
South Africa: Democracy and violence – the threat to South Africa’s elections | Martin Plaut/Daily Maverick
The ruptures of the apartheid era have been carried over into post-apartheid society, leaving the country with a tragic reputation for beatings, murder and the abuse of women and children. Police record some 650,000 victims of violence a year. As a recent headline put it: “South Africa is one of the most violent and unsafe countries in the world.” There is little trust in the police and more than 500,000 private security guards are employed by firms and individuals at a cost of $3.7-billion a year – more than twice the number of police officers. This climate of violence is carried over into political life, yet outside of South Africa this is little understood. Most international observers assume the miracle of the reconciliation ushered in by Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the Rainbow Nation still prevails. Yet the evidence is that political murders and intimidation now disfigure South African politics. Violence and intimidation threaten the legitimacy of the 2019 general election. Unless these issues are recognised and confronted there is a risk that the democracy for which so much was sacrificed will be undermined.
The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) is in a race against time to verify the particulars and addresses of 7.2-million people on the voters roll ahead of the 2019 general election. The credibility of the 2019 poll hinges on the IEC ensuring that the voters roll meets acceptable norms and standards, as prescribed by the Constitutional Court. In June 2016, the Constitutional Court ordered the electoral authority to verify, as well as add, voters’ residential addresses on the roll following a successful application to the court by independent candidates who contested the outcomes of by-elections in Tlokwe, North West, in 2013.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has turned to technology to support its efforts to capture the addresses of over 26 million registered voters before 30 June 2018. In 2016, the Constitutional Court ordered the IEC to correctly capture the addresses of all registered voters on the voters’ roll before the 2019 general elections. Yesterday, the IEC unveiled MyIEC, an online portal that allows South African voters to submit or update their registration details when they have changed address or when there has been a change in their identity number. … The implementation of online systems in relation to the democratic voting process often brings up concerns of security, especially where citizens’ sensitive information is concerned.
The attention of South Africans have been drawn to a recent email making rounds in the country. According to the SA Independent Electoral Commission, “the emails are being distributed by the ‘Independent Elections Council’ under the email address elections@IEC.co.za and have ‘Electronic Voting Testing Phase’ in the subject field.” Speaking further, the SA Independent Electoral Commission says the fraudlents designed the whole process in a way that, unsuspecting users are automatically lodged in a site that has similar features with the Independent Electoral Commission of SA, once they click a link attached to the email.
South Africa: Election Shows Many South Africans Losing Faith in ‘Pompous’ A.N.C. | The New York Times
A week before South Africa’s local elections on Wednesday, the Zithas held a family meeting inside their entertainment room to decide how to vote. Loyal backers of the African National Congress in every election since the end of apartheid, the family decided it was time for a change. Now, on a leisurely Sunday morning, as his wife and daughter got ready for church, Danny Zitha, 61, a former high school teacher, said the long-governing A.N.C. had left him disillusioned because of its corruption, arrogance and incompetence. He will never go back, he said. “Not at all, as long as I’m alive, sorry,” he said, adding with a laugh, “Maybe after death.” The A.N.C., which was the party of Nelson Mandela and helped free South Africa from white-minority rule, suffered its worst losses ever at the polls in the municipal elections last week. Unrivaled for the past two decades, the party lost control of two black-majority cities, including the capital, Pretoria, in what many believe is a profound change in how race and the legacy of apartheid influence South African politics. The party’s decline was especially steep in the biggest cities, with many black, middle-class voters in places like Chantelle, a suburb of Pretoria, turning against it. Twenty-two years after the end of apartheid, such voters appeared more concerned with mundane matters like good governance and taxes than with the party’s heroic liberation past.
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party has taken an early lead as vote counting continued in local government elections where it faces the risk of losing control of key cities for the first time since coming to power. The party, which toppled white apartheid rule after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, is up against its stiffest electoral challenge to date amid a backdrop of high unemployment, a stagnant economy and controversies surrounding the president, Jacob Zuma. With a quarter of the votes counted by 3am BST on Thursday, the ANC had 50%, against 34% for the Democratic Alliance (DA) and 6% for the Economic Freedom Fighters, which was participating in only its second election. Opinion polls see a close race in the nation’s capital, Pretoria, and South Africa’s economic hub, Johannesburg. In the early hours of Thursday, the ANC and DA were neck-and-neck at 43% each in Tshwane municipality, which contains Pretoria, although only 15% of the votes had been counted.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa has postponed all by-elections in the light of continued uncertainty regarding the validity of the voters’ roll where voters’ addresses are not in the possession of the Electoral Commission. The Commission on Monday said this also includes by-elections scheduled for 6 April 2016. “The Electoral Commission made the decision in the interest of free and fair elections following the recent order by the Electoral Court to postpone by-elections in Tlokwe scheduled for 24 February 2016,” the Commission said. The Electoral Commission on 23 February 2016 postponed all 12 by-elections scheduled for the following day in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape.
There is no consideration by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to postpone the upcoming 2016 municipal elections, vice chairperson Terry Tselane said on Monday. “I must indicate here that from the side of the commission, there has never been a consideration to postpone the election. That question has never arisen and it will not arise,” Tselane told reporters at a briefing in Pretoria. “We are confident that we will be able to deal with all the issues that we are supposed to be dealing with. We will then be able to deliver the elections with constitutionally stipulated period. That is important … because there is a narration saying otherwise, particularly in the media.”
Polling stations closed Wednesday evening in elections in South Africa that are expected to see the ruling African National Congress (ANC) return to power despite a vigorous challenge from opposition parties seeking to capitalize on discontent with corruption and economic inequality. Voting in the fifth all-race polls in South Africa since the end of white minority rule in 1994 wrapped up at 9 p.m. and South Africa’s election commission said the first results were expected in the following hours. Officials will declare final results no earlier than Saturday, allowing time to address any objections to the process. The election commission said most voting went smoothly. About 25 million South Africans, roughly half the population, registered to vote in the parliamentary elections that will also determine the president. Some 22,000 voting stations opened at schools, places of worship, tribal authority sites and hospitals, and several dozen vehicles serving as mobile voting stations visited remote areas.