Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has had nothing but praise for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on its handling of the 2016 local government elections.
Ramaphosa visited the IEC’s results operations center in Pretoria on Friday, as final counting of the country’s ballots continue, with it being 95% done.
“This is my first visit to the operations results center… I have been taken around by the chairman of the commission and his various colleagues and officials, and I have been hugely impressed with the operation that has been set up here.
“This in my view is a world class type of election structure operation. And I think it’s even what you may call the golden standard of how an election should be run and operated,” he said.
After conducting a walkabout, Ramaphosa spoke of the facilities which he said in his “view are one of the most impressive”.
“It functions. I can just see that everything just fits in like a hand fitting in a glove. I have also taken time to pay tribute to the commission for the way in which they have organised the election. This in my view is a mammoth task, to have more than 200 000 people working for the commission, albeit on a temporary basis, throughout the length and breadth of the country.
“Doing something similar in real time is something that is absolutely unimaginable. But they have done it. And to be able to deal with 63 000 results and slips that are coming in is also formidable task.”
He also commended the IEC for the way in which they dealt with issues that resulted in “lapses of discipline”.
“Issues that occurred in KZN… when a group of officials did something that was untoward in terms of trying to influence voters. The way that the commission took action with speed… distinguishes this commission as one of those institutions that support democracy.”
This further confirmed the integrity of the commission, he added.
“It’s something that we as South Africans need to be grateful for. We have a commission… that is hell-bent on ensuring that South Africans exercise their decision in a very disciplined manner, and they exercise it democratically.”
Ramaphosa further thanked the IEC’s chairperson, CEO, vice chairperson and other personel for the manner in which they have been the “midwives” and “midmen” of our democracy.
“We rely on them to be the guardians of our democracy to usher us forward and make sure that we become a proud democratic nation.”