By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
7 may 2014
The elections in South Africa should be a shining example to the SADC region and the African continent on the conduct of elections, a leading human rights activist said on Wednesday.
Dewa Mavhinga, the chairperson of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and an observer of the poll in South Africa, said despite that country controversially endorsing the elections in Zimbabwe last year, theirs have been well administered by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Mavhinga told our weekly Hidden Story program that all political parties are happy with the preparations, apart from a very few hiccups. He stressed that there is a world of difference in which the chaotic elections in Zimbabwe were run and the almost world class democratic standards that South Africa has displayed in terms of preparations.
On Wednesday millions of South Africans headed to the polls to vote in the country’s fifth democratic election since the end of apartheid. The ANC, led by President Jacob Zuma, is heavily tipped to remain in power, although with less of a majority because of the scandals and corruption allegations that rocked the party.
There are 29 parties taking part in the national ballot jostling for the votes of some 25 million South Africans registered to participate in the polls, including those in the Diaspora.
In Zimbabwe the Electoral Commission is run mainly by officials with strong links to ZANU PF and it disenfranchised millions of voters through its chaotic voter registration exercise.
Millions more were turned away from voting when they could not find their names on the voting roll, while others did not know the location of their polling stations, that were announced only a day before the July 31st elections. Zimbabweans in the Diaspora were also denied a vote.