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ATM leader says ZANU PF’s election observers will undermine credibility of South Africa’s elections

Vuyo Zungula, the leader of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), a South African opposition political party, has written to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), over ZANU PF’s alleged involvement in observing South African elections.

South Africa is set to hold national and provincial elections on 29 May 2024 amid indications that South Africa’s ruling ANC has invited its Zimbabwean counterpart, ZANU PF, to campaign on its behalf, and participate as an observer mission during the elections.

In a letter dated 10 May 2024, addressed to IEC’s Mosotho Moepya, Zungula said allowing ZANU PF to observe South Africa’s elections risks tarnishing the legitimacy and credibility of the country’s electoral processes. Reads the letter:

I write to you as the President of the African Transformation Movement (ATM) to express our grave concerns regarding recent reports indicating that ZANU PF, the ruling party of Zimbabwe, intends to participate as part of an observer mission for the upcoming elections in South Africa.

We strongly condemn the notion of ZANU PF being allowed to observe our elections for several significant reasons.

Firstly, Zimbabwe has a well-documented history of electoral malpractice and voter fraud in recent years, which seriously undermines the credibility of any electoral process they are involved in.

Allowing ZANU PF to observe our elections risks tarnishing the legitimacy and credibility of our own electoral process.

Zimbabwe has faced serious challenges in conducting free and fair elections, as evidenced by reports from various international organisations over the years.

Furthermore, permitting ZANU PF to observe our elections is not only concerning due to their track record but also because of their close association with the ruling party in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC).

Recent reports have suggested that the ANC has sought assistance from ZANU PF in their election campaign.

This raises serious questions about the impartiality and independence of any observation mission involving ZANU PF in South Africa.

Therefore, we urge the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa to reject any participation of ZANU PF in the observation of our elections.
Instead, we recommend engaging countries and organizations with established track records of upholding democratic principles and conducting free and fair elections.

It is imperative that we safeguard the integrity of our electoral process and uphold the trust of the South African people in our democratic institutions.

Allowing ZANU PF to participate in any capacity would undermine these fundamental principles.

We trust that the IEC will give due consideration to our concerns and take appropriate action to ensure that the upcoming elections in South Africa are conducted in a transparent, credible, and impartial manner.

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