Midday Update on Deployment of Election Observers of the Ecumenical Movement Facilitated by KZNCC

On the voting day, the 1st of November 2021, the ecumenical movement deployed 330 election observers. The observers are deployed in all the 11 district municipalities of the province of KwaZulu Natal (KZN). Particular attention of observation was focussed on the identified hotspots. The hotspots that we have identified are voting stations at Phoenix, Inanda, Imbali, Copesville, to mention a few. The KZNCC has been doing election observation since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

KwaZulu Religions for Peace (KRfP) and KZN Inter-Religious Council (KZN-IRC), World Religions for Peace (WRfP), KZN Democracy and Election Forum and National Election Monitoring Network (NEMN), Diakonia Council of Churches (DCoC), Civil Society Organisations (CS), YMCA, Local Ecumenical Action Network (LEAN), encourage all eligible voters to exercise their right to elect representatives of their choice by voting early in the day.

 

The role of the faith leaders in this election is peacebuilding, and peace-making. Where and when needed the faith leaders have offered to do mediation and conflict management within the election day and beyond. The deployment of police and army is to make sure that voters are safe and that there is safety and security. This is to create an environment where free and fair election can be ensured.

The KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) observers are present throughout the province and have identified few glitches which are important to mention such as,

Msinga

  • Water and sanitation
  • Scanners offline (voters not captured)

Manyiseni – Ngwavuma

  • Protest march

Ulundi

  • NFP General Secretary attacked
  • Another NFP member stripped off their regalia

Mzimkhulu

  • Allegation of already marked boxes being investigated

Durban

  • People in the same household allocated different voting stations
  • Ran out of the paper for the ID scanners

Community and voters in general have been encouraged by the visibility of the KZNCC observers in the field. They are encouraged by the solidarity of churches with local communities.

There has been a slow turnout in some voting stations compared to the previous elections, this is just a preliminary report, KZNCC is therefore encouraging voters to go out in their numbers to cast their vote.

KZNCC has made a call that the farmers should release the farm workers to exercise their vote. Our observer’s’ teams are well trained and have been deployed to observe the electoral processes and that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) does her work and that all who are participating in the election comply with the legislation on election matters.

Our observer’s teams have given their services as volunteers. They have offered their time and left their daily duties to see to it that the election is indeed free and fair. They are exercising their responsibility as good citizens who are concerned about the well-being of the country and in support of democratic practices is supported and defended.

 

Collated by Dr Mogashudi Lucas Ngoetjana

1 November 2021

MEDIA RELEASE : Voters encouraged to vote

To: All Media/News Editors

Media Statement – For Immediate Release

A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR VOTERS

KwaZulu Religions For Peace (KNCC) and KZN Inter-Religious Council (KZN-IRC), World Religions for Peace (WRfP), KZN Democracy and Election Forum and National Election Monitoring Network (NEMN) encourage all eligible voters to exercise their right to elect representatives of their choice by voting early in the day.

Voting early in the day will help us all to comply with the COVID-19 health protocols; by maintaining social distancing, regularly sanitising our hands, and by always wearing a face mask. It will also help prevent last-minute rush and long lines forming after dark outside voting stations.

We remain concerned about reports of loan sharks illegally withholding ID documents of those who have borrowed money from them, as this will deny affected people an opportunity to vote. We call upon those loan sharks concerned to desist from their illegal withholding ID documents and hand back ID documents immediately to their owners so that they can go and vote. The act of withholding ID documents as a security for a debt is illegal, and we call on those affected to report the practice to the police.

We encourage farmers to facilitate voting for farm workers and their family members living in their farms (remote from voting stations) by releasing them from duty and by making available transport, where farm workers continue to rely on employers for transport to get to their voting stations. This is particularly important in the local government elections where voters must vote in the area in which they are registered.

Our teams of Election Observers – made up largely from faith communities, community advice offices, Legal fraternity, etc – are deployed in various voting districts and will be following up on information about alleged violations of the Electoral Code of Conduct.

We stand ready to report to the police any serious violations and to actively take steps to ensure the prosecution and conviction of perpetrators so that we can send a clear message that no one is above the law. We will also call for disqualification from the elections of those politicians who violate the Electoral Code of Conduct with impunity.

ENDS

Issued by the Office of the Chairperson- KwaZulu Natal Christian Council

Media Enquiries:      Ms Xola Nkabinde KZNCC Communications Coordinator – 072 8344219

Major Thataetsile Semeno (Elections Coordinator) – 064 681 7310

Bishop Nkosinathi Myaka (KZNCC Chairperson) – 083 364 8652/ 082 388 8315

Mr Nkosikhulule Nyembezi (KZNCC Election Forum Analyst) – 082 688 6405

KZNCC Observers’ Deployment: 3300 in 11 districts

 

More than 3300 observers will be deployed by the KwaZulu Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) Electoral Observer Mission to assess the November 2021 general elections in the Province of KwaZulu Natal.

From all 11 districts, the various teams have been fully equipped through training that took place on Monday, 25 October 2021.

KZNCC is offering this opportunity to the public. Should you want to be Domestic Election Observer, Monitor or Mediator kindly contact Major TP Semeno on 064 681 7310.