Weekly News Brief

Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa
Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa

HEADLINE NEWS THIS WEEK

IEC: 65.5% Voter Turnout For 2019 Elections

The Independent Electoral Commission has confirmed national voter turnout was just over 65.5%. That is considerably lower than the national elections in 2014 when more than 73% of registered voters turned out to make their mark. This year, close to 10 million South Africans did not vote because they were not registered.

Over 12 Million Votes Tallied And Captured By IEC Across SA

More than 12 million votes have been tallied and captured across the country, setting up the African National Congress (ANC) to once against to secure the most seats in Parliament. But it has lost ground to opposition parties, notably the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) whose share of support has entered the double digits. More than 17,000 voting districts have captured their results, however, more than 5,000 still need to do so.

IEC: Multiple Voting Allegations A First For Us

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said this was the first time it has faced allegations of multiple voting. Several political parties have lodged complaints, while South Africans took to social media claiming they were able to cast ballots more than once.

IEC Vows To Deal With Anyone Involved In Voter Fraud

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said it remained committed to transparency and would deal with anyone who contravened the Electoral Code. The IEC has received seven official objections regarding voter irregularities, which were under investigation. On Wednesday, voters and politicians posted photos and videos on social media, complaining of possible voter fraud.

Big Three Parties Express Mixed Feelings On Election Results

As the votes continue to come in, the three leading political parties have expressed mixed feelings about the results they have received currently. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that it hopes to be done tallying all the votes by Saturday.

Maimane: No Need For Election Rerun

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane doesn’t see the need for an election rerun. Despite the many objections and complaints, the party wants an intensive audit of the outcome. The IEC said that an audit would be conducted once vote counting has been completed but it has repeatedly defended the integrity of the polls.

Smaller Parties Weigh Options As Vote Counting Draws To a Close

As outstanding national results continue to trickle in, South Africans are getting a clearer picture of what the next five years will look like politically. While the deal is done for the big players, the DA retaining the Western Cape province comfortably and the ANC staying on as the official opposition, smaller parties are weighing their options very carefully

Winde Ready For Hard Work In WC, As DA Leads With Most Votes

Democratic Alliance Western Cape premier candidate Alan Winde has admitted hard work lies ahead, as the party holds on to the reins in the Cape for a further five years. The Democratic Alliance has sealed the deal, leading the board with just under 56% of the vote.

IEC Launches Audit After Claims Of Voter Fraud

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced it has established an audit to check the extent of voter fraud and said so far, four people have been arrested for casting more than one ballot. The decision was taken after the commission met with political parties contesting elections who raised concerns about the supposedly indelible ink being easy to remove.

Shivambu: Parties That Haven’t Performed Well Only Have Themselves To Blame

As some political parties prepare to approach the Electoral Court, the Economic Freedom Fighters, which has shown considerable growth, seems unfazed by the latest developments. The EFF’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu said parties that have not performed well only have themselves to blame. “They did not campaign. You must ask them how many party agents and volunteers they had. They think by having a press conference, they’ll get it. It’s not how the electorate works. You must go out and speak to the people.”

Thabo Mbeki Impressed With IEC Decisiveness In Dealing With Problems

Former president Thabo Mbeki has voted at the Holy Family collage in Killarney in Johannesburg. Mbeki said he was impressed with the IEC’s decisiveness in dealing with issues that could threaten the smooth running of the elections.

Young People In Alex Shun Chance To Vote

Despite several parties visiting Alexandra and making promises to the community, some say they don’t believe them and won’t be voting. Alexandra was recently the scene of protests, with political leaders including President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema visiting the township.

Here’s What South Africans Searched For Before Voting

In the days before voting day on Wednesday, South Africans took to Google for help in deciding which party to put their X next to. And it seemed the most important question for South Africans was whether Wednesday would be a public holiday, followed by “who to vote for in SA elections 2019?”

DA Western Cape Not Worried About Coalition With ANC, EFF

With about half of the voting districts in the Western Cape complete, the Democratic Alliance (DA) share of the vote remains unchanged at 57%, so far. The DA is no longer concerned about an African National Congress and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) coalition in the province and looks set to retain the province according to early numbers.

Bo-Kaap residents say they’re making their voices heard by voting in 2019’s general elections. 

The area now enjoys heritage protection from the City of Cape Town council, after councillors in April approved the inclusion of the community in a heritage protection overlay zone, encouraging owners to retain and rehabilitate the existing residential buildings, as well as the conservation of the historic urban landscape of the area.

Holomisa: A Weaker ANC Is Good For Democracy

The United Democratic Movement (UDM)’s Bantu Holomisa said that a weaker African National Congress (ANC) would be good for democracy by allowing opposition parties to hold it to account.  Holomisa made the comments while in the queue at the Arcada Primary School in Arcadia on Wednesday morning.

Peter Marais Says Smaller Parties Face Major Disadvantage

Freedom Front Plus Western Cape premier candidate Peter Marais believes the party is at a disadvantage, due to a lack of funds. The former premier and Cape Town mayor cast his ballot in Durbanville on Wednesday morning.

Protest reported in CT on election day, cops on high alert across SA

As the polls open nationwide, protest action was high on the watch list for authorities and electoral officials. Protests and sporadic gang violence were two of the issues the Western Cape Independent Electoral Commission officials flagged as threats to the poll.  Overnight, parts of the N2 outside Plettenberg Bay were closed due to a protest. On Wednesday morning, protesters set tyres alight on Steve Biko Drive near Khayelitsha.

BLF Ordered To Remove Slogan After Equality Court Orders It ‘Hate Speech’

The Equality Court has ruled that the Black First Land First (BLF) slogan “land or death” constitutes hate speech.  The court has given the BLF a month to remove the contentious slogan from its website, as well as its regalia and other public platforms.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

South Africa Voter Turnout Better Than US, UK, France

Voter turnout has emerged as an important factor in the 2019 general elections. In South Africa, the figure declined to about 73.5% in 2014. In 1999, it was at 89.3%. This year, close to 10 million South Africans did not vote because they were not registered. There are more than 26 million registered voters this year, with 55% being women and 45% men. That represents 74.6% of the total voting age population.

Maimane On Elections: I’m Not Even Worried About My Political Future

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said on Wednesday he was not worried about his political future as the leader of the country’s official opposition party after the general elections. Briefing the media on Wednesday morning shortly after casting his ballot in Dobsonville, Soweto, Maimane said he was confident that the DA had done enough on the campaign trail to convince the electorate to vote for the party.

IEC Official Removed After Allowing Party Agent To Handle Voting Material

An Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) deputy presiding officer has been removed from a Benoni, Ekurhuleni, voting station for allowing a party agent to assist in the transfer of special votes material. The commission said on Tuesday this followed an investigation into a video that went viral on Monday showing an agent helping the official.

DA Concerned About Integrity Of Elections

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says his party is concerned about the integrity of the elections. “Already we receive intelligence about how there’ve been some manipulations, even on what type of ink has been used. We’ve had some deep concerns about how special votes have been conducted, in fact, we raised the same issues on 6 May at the IEC,” said Maimane.

6 People Arrested For Torching Electoral Officer’s Car In NW

Six people have been arrested in North West in connection with the torching of a presiding officer’s car in Ganyesa on the first day of special voting. Disruptions were also reported in the small towns of Taung and Potchefstroom. Officers will be deployed to these areas and other hotspots as voting continue.

Western Cape ANC Returns Iqbal Survé’s R1m Election Donation

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape has decided to return a donation from Cape Town businessman Iqbal Survé. Survé, who is the chairperson of Sekunjalo Group, reportedly gave the party R1 million to help in its election campaign. ANC acting provincial chair Khaya Magaxa said the party had decided to avoid, by all means, being associated with “questionable funders”.

They Were Useless’ – What About South Africa’s Forgotten Rural Voters?

Attention ahead of the 8 May elections has focused on major cities, but what are voters saying in overlooked rural areas where a third of voters live? This is the first instalment of a three-part series around South Africa’s 8 May general elections.

State Capture Inquiry: Transnet Procurement Process An ‘Aberration’

Evidence presented at the state capture inquiry on Thursday shifted to procurement processes at Transnet, which have been identified by the new board as being at the heart of financial flows of the state-run freight rail company. Peter Volmink, Transnet’s executive head of governance, told the commission that procurement since 2016 had been “something of an aberration”.

Brian Molefe, Anoj Singh, Siyabonga Gama Orchestrated State Capture At Transnet

Former senior Transnet officials Brian Molefe, Anoj Singh and Siyabonga Gama have been accused of orchestrating the capture of the state-owned company. Board chairperson Popo Molefe made the allegations during his testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown on Tuesday. Molefe has described a sophisticated operation that was used to weaken internal governance systems and facilitate the outflow of money to cronies.