SOUTH Africans have demonstrated that it is possible to hold peaceful elections free of violence and pangas unlike what happens in other African countries including ours, says Vernon Mwaanga. Congratulating the African National Congress (ANC) on its victory in the just-ended national and provincial elections in South Africa, Mwaanga commended South Africans for the peaceful manner during and after voting.
“Let me first and foremost congratulate the African National Congress (ANC), for their election victory in the just ended National and Provincial elections by gaining 57.5 per cent of the total votes cast, equal to 230 seats in the 400 Member National Assembly. I also congratulate all the 48 political parties which took part in the election,” he said.
Mwaanga, who paid tribute to the South African Independent Electoral Commission for the impartial manner in which their staff carried out their duties during and after the elections, said the rest of Africa had a lot to learn from them.
“Most importantly, I congratulate the people of South Africa for the peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves before, during and after the campaigns and voting. They have demonstrated that it is possible to hold peaceful emotions in Africa free of violence and pangas, unlike what happens in other African countries, including ours,” he said.
Mwaanga said South Africa was a relatively new democracy, but there was a lot to learn from them by way of best practices in conducting of elections.
“Former president of Tanzania, Mr Jakaya Kikwete, who was heading the African Union Election Observation Mission, made a very important observation about the conduct of the state owned media, particularly SABC, for the fair and objective manner in which they covered all the political parties before, during and after the elections,” noted Mwaanga.
“That is what it should be. Both the AU and SADC election guidelines contain clear provisions about the need for the state media to give equal and fair coverage to all the participating political parties, but this is usually honoured more in breach. South Africa is a relatively new democracy, but there is a lot we can learn from them by way of best practices in the conduct of elections.”