‘Zanu PF not accredited to observe SA elections’

THE Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on Tuesday clarified that it has not invited or accredited Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party...

‘Zanu PF not accredited to observe SA elections’

THE Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on Tuesday clarified that it has not invited or accredited Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party as an official observer of the hotly-contested May 29 general elections.

The remarks were made by chief executive officer of the electoral commission Sy Mamabolo yesterday, after the IEC received a letter from Vuyo Zungula, leader of the African Transformation Movement (ATM).

In Zungula’s letter, seen by IOL, the party leader expressed “grave concerns regarding recent reports indicating that Zanu PF, the ruling party of Zimbabwe, intends to participate as part of an observer mission for the upcoming elections in South Africa”.

The ATM letter was also addressed to Parliament. “It is imperative that we safeguard the integrity of our electoral process and uphold the trust of the South African people in our democratic institutions. Allowing Zanu PF to participate in any capacity would undermine these fundamental principles,” part of Zungula’s letter read.

Last week, IOL quoted a report in The Herald in Zimbabwe, where Zanu PF stated that it had been invited by its ally, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to be part of the electioneering team as the ANC enters the final stages of campaigns ahead of the elections. State media in Zimbabwe, quoting Zanu PF secretary-general Obert Mpofu said Zimbabwe’s ruling party, which has led the southern African nation since independence from British colonial rule in 1980, has been invited to join its “colleague”, the ANC on its campaign trail.

The IEC on Tuesday clarified that it has nothing to do with Zanu PF’s “alleged presence in the country”, and the former liberation movement of Zimbabwe would not take part in the elections.

 “Yes, indeed we did receive a letter from Mr Zungula complaining about the alleged presence of Zanu PF. “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.

“So, they won’t be observing these elections and communication in that regard has been made available to Mr Zungula,” said Mamabolo. —IOL