South Africans protest over Zim election

A GROUP of protestors in South Africa on Wednesday demonstrated against that country and Sadc’s endorsement of the electoral process in Zimbabwe.

Pamela Mhlanga

The group, which was made up of citizens from the Sadc region countries living in South Africa, held a march in Cape Town before proceeding to Parliament and handed over a petition to South Africa’s Speaker of National Assembly, Max Sisulu.

The protestors also launched an online petition on the Facebook page named Zimbabwe Election Protest, calling upon the South African government to reject Zimbabwe’s flawed election.

The online petition on Wednesday reached more than 1 000 signatures of people who had signed supporting the move.

“The recent election in Zimbabwe was flawed on numerous accounts, directly breaching many legal requirements set out in the new Zimbabwean Constitution and the Electoral Act,” the protestors charged.

The protestors said they believed that it was absolutely essential for the legitimacy of Sadc that Zimbabwe’s electoral process be rejected.

“It will set a dangerous precedent for the region if such a flawed election receives regional approval and will only serve to undermine the history and the future of the struggle for democracy, freedom and justice in Southern Africa.”

They said they were not disputing the result of the election, but their contention was with the electoral process and therefore, called on people of all political affiliations to stand with them.

In an interview with Radio France on Wednesday, one of the protestors, Douglas Coltart, son of Zimbabwe’s outgoing Education minister, David, said the protestors felt it was a very dangerous precedent for the region as a whole if elections that did not comply with the electoral law were endorsed because it undermined the right to democracy for the people of the region.

He said the protestors were disappointed that despite the illegal breaches of the electoral law, the South African government and Sadc had indorsed the elections as free and credible.

“We are, therefore, asking for three things, we are asking the South African government to issue out a statement saying that the illegal breaches of the electoral law were not of acceptable standard,” Coltart said.

“We are also asking the South African government to put pressure on Sadc to do the same and reject the election results and we are also asking them to conduct an audit of the electoral process in Zimbabwe.”

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