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H.E. Enock Kavindele Launches SADC Electoral Observation Mission in South Africa

His Excellency Enock Kavindele, appointed as the Head of Mission for the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) by His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia and Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, officially launched the SEOM today. This mission precedes the National and Provincial elections set to take place on 29th May 2024.

The launch event, held in Boksburg, Johannesburg, witnessed the presence of key stakeholders including representatives from Diplomatic Missions, political parties, Civil Society Organisations, local and international observers, and media houses.

In his address, H.E. Kavindele commended South Africa’s commendable history of peaceful national elections and expressed his hope for the continuation of this tradition in the upcoming electoral cycle.

He specifically called for an end to political violence, referencing previous local government elections in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

H.E. Kavindele urged all registered voters to exercise their civic rights by voting on 29 May 2024. He also appealed to all stakeholders to ensure that the elections are conducted in a manner that is peaceful, free, fair, transparent, and credible. 

Emphasising the importance of democratic values, he highlighted the adherence to the SADC Treaty, the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, and the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021).

Professor Kula Ishmael Theletsane, Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs at the SADC Secretariat, underscored the centrality of elections to SADC’s vision of establishing legitimate and democratic institutions. 

He linked this vision to the broader goal of regional integration supported by sustainable peace and stability. Professor Theletsane reiterated the SADC Treaty’s objectives, particularly Article 2 of the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, which aims “to promote the development of democratic institutions and practices within the territories of state parties”.

The SEOM to South Africa’s National and Provincial Elections comprises personnel from 11 SADC Member States: the Kingdoms of Eswatini and Lesotho, and the Republics of Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Observers will be deployed across all nine provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, and Western Cape.

The SEOM’s mandate covers the pre-election, election, and post-election periods, focusing on campaign activities, the voting process, and the counting of ballot papers.

The mission arrived in South Africa on 13 May 2024 and will remain in the country until 7 June 2024 to ensure comprehensive observation in line with the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021).

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