2019 elections tested IEC 'like never before' but were fair: Sy Mamabolo

11 May 2019 - 18:38 By AMIL UMRAW
IEC head Sy Mamabolo. File photo.
IEC head Sy Mamabolo. File photo.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

The Electoral Commission's chief officer, Sy Mamabolo, said that the 2019 general elections tested the organisation "like never before".

Speaking at the official launch of the election results in Pretoria on Saturday, Mamabolo said the commission experienced various challenges as a result of a larger ballot which had included, for the first time, 48 contesting parties.

These included an increase in printing costs, logistical issues and a slowing down of the voting process. However, Mamabolo maintained that, despite widespread allegations of voter fraud, the elections were conducted fairly.  

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.

"An election is a constitutionally defined procedure to determine the will of the people. The 2019 national and provincial elections were precisely about that," he said.

"Tonight is a final step of a journey which began more than two years ago. It has been a journey of twists and turns, a journey of ups and downs."  

He said there was room for improvement.

"These elections have tested all of us like never before…As the IEC, we have learnt that there is always scope for evolution in systems, people and processes," Mamabolo said.

"Tonight we can proclaim as a nation that our democracy has once again withstood this examination and continues to endure with strength and fortitude…It is a tribute to the people of SA who having tasted democracy just 25 years ago continue to display an unquenchable hunger for democracy, justice and freedom for all."