Veteran Politician Vernon Mwaanga says South Africa has shown the world that it is possible for free, fair and peaceful elections to be conducted in Africa, urging other countries on the continent to emulate.
And Mwaanga has saluted the South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) for offering balanced and fair coverage to all participating political parties and candidates, adding that that should be an ideal situation in a democratic dispensation.
In a statement, Mwaanga said South Africa’s elections had shown that the continent can hold peaceful elections, unlike the situation was other countries including Zambia.
“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 elections in Africa free of violence and pangas, unlike what happens in other African countries, including ours. I also pay 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. The rest of Africa has a lot to learn from them,” Mwaanga said.
“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. 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.”
He also congratulated the ANC for winning the election and scooping majority parliamentary seats.
“Let me congratulate the African National Congress (ANC), for their election victory in the just ended National and Provincial elections by gaining 57.5% 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,” said Mwaanga.