Former President Thabo Mbek was speaking to students at Unisa when he regarded the Tlokwe election incident as an embarrassment to South Africa and as such, called on the African Union (AU) to monitor election events in the country to avoid further similar embarrassment.
To the ex-president, the AU must have to watch elections in the country right from when it commences. “That monitoring team must be there when voters are being registered,” he said.
“They must watch the matter of demarcation of constituencies. They should watch this entire process” and prevent unnecessary mistakes like those that were unveiled about Tlokwe.
The Electoral Court last month halted a troubled Tlokwe municipal by-elections and postponed them to allow the Electoral Commission of South Africa the time to get right the voters’ roll.
As it happened, seven independent candidates who were contesting at the municipal by-elections in Tlokwe approached the court claiming that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) wasn’t conducting the election the right way.
That was after the Constitutional Court nullified previous results from the election as it was discovered that voters voted in wrong districts and wards.
The whole issue raised insinuations about the capabilities of the IEC in conducting credible elections and about ANC influencing the conduct of an electoral body that ought to be independent in its affairs.
To avoid all those, Mbeki insisted that the monitoring team must be there when voters are being registered “so that the AU can then intervene…and say that the voters’ roll is wrong.
That’s what the charter provides for, the AU can contribute here and say no more Tlokwe embarrassments,” the ex-president iterated.