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Election observers are ready and set to go

Retired judge and inaugural chairperson of the IEC Justice Johann Kriegler warns of a "multitude of disgruntled losers from a multitude of participants" in this year's elections if the process does not go smoothly.

Retired judge and inaugural chairperson of the IEC, Justice Johann Kriegler, has called for a free, fair and transparent election on May 29, or face a multitude of disgruntled losers from a multitude of participants.

He said it’s all systems go for monitoring the national elections next week and Defend Our Democracy (DOD) will be one of many civil society organisations under the banner of Election Watch that will ensure a peaceful, fair, free and transparent voting process.

Retired judge and inaugural IEC chairperson Justice Johann Kriegler, commissioner Lydia Cindi of The Evangelical Alliance of SA (Teasa), and Rev Moss Ntlha, chairperson of the Defend Our Democracy and Also secretary general of Teasa at the press briefing. Photo: Sipho Siso

Justice Johann Kriegler told a media briefing ahead of the elections next that there was an extraordinary need for election observers to be more vigilant this time around as ‘we have a multitude of participants in the election which translates to a multitude of disgruntled losers too’ if anything was to go wrong.

“As observers, we will need to be more vigilant than ever before and work tirelessly towards ensuring a peaceful, free, fair and transparent electoral process to ensure we don’t get these multitudes of disgruntled losers,” Kriegler said.
Chairperson of the DOD Rev Moss Ntlha said the duty of observers was not to tell people how or who to vote for. “Our task is simply to watch for misdemeanours and deviations from the electoral process that could otherwise render the election unjust.

Retired judge and inaugural chairperson of the IEC Justice Johann Kriegler warns of multitudes of disgruntled losers unless the elections are free, fair and transparent. Photo: Sipho Siso

“All of Africa and the world are looking at South Africa as a beacon of democracy on the continent and we have no option but to make it work seamlessly and prove our maturity as a nation.”

The campaign manager of DOD Nomasonto Magwaza said they have 1 208 observers and 689 of them have been accredited with the IEC and ‘we are now waiting for more accreditations before the voting day’.

She said they had conducted roadshows in the nine provinces and distributed 5 000 educational pamphlets on the voting system and among the issues to be observed will also include the conduct of electoral officers.
National director of the Legal Resources Centre Nersan Govender urged all people and political organisations running for election to ensure that next week’s voting process was peaceful, transparent and just.

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