SA's 2019 elections declared free and fair

Voting station
Voting station
Image: MARK WESSELS

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Saturday declared the 2019 national and provincial elections free and fair. 

With all of the 22 925 voting districts counted, the IEC announced that the elections, won by the ANC with 57, 5%, of the votes were free and fair despite a number of disgruntled political parties calling for a rerun.

IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said that despite the challenges which included a widely reported issue of some people being suspected of voting twice, there was a great story to tell which, according to him, was that of millions of South Africans who braved the weather and travelled distances to go to their respective voting stations to cast their votes.

"There is another story, a lesser told story of 18 million voters who were assisted to vote honestly, quickly, and easily. A story of voters who climbed mountains and crossed rivers to cast their ballots in pursuit of an ideal to participate in the process of determining the political will of the people. A story of a democratic nation continuing to move forward in defining course. This is a story borne out by observer missions from South Africa and around the world which unanimously endorsed the elections as free and fair," said Mamabolo.

"Tonight we can proclaim as a nation that our democracy has once again withstood this examination and continues to endure with strength and fortitude."

Although the ANC won the elections, the party failed to clinch an overwhelming majority and had registered a 4.6 percentage point drop as compared to the 2014 elections. 

However the ANC's head of elections Fikile Mbalula said they did not view this as a loss but as a start of the party's recovery following a former President Jacob Zuma's era. 

"Yes it is a good moment, we emerged victorious and we knew we would emerge victorious because we worked hard in the wall to wall campaign of the ANC and we were properly led and that is what is important and this a moment of recovery, moment of renewal, speaks volume to us from this particular campaign so we're happy about the outcome," said Mbalula.

Fairly low voter turnout and a few parties’ growth were the highlights as the IEC officially declared the results of the 2019 elections on 11 May 2019.

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