Issue 110 | 06 May 2014
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The Turquoise Harmony Institute is an independent, non-profit Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), aimed at promoting inter-cultural and inter-faith dialogue and tolerance among people at grassroots level in South Africa.
The Board of the Turquoise Harmony Institute has awarded this year's prestigious Ubuntu Media Award to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation's (DIRCO) Ubuntu Radio, South Africa's first government-run, 24-hour, online radio station.

The Deputy Director-General of Public Diplomacy, Clayson Monyela, accepted the award on behalf of DIRCO at a gala ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton on 30 April.

According to the Institute, Ubuntu Radio is a visionary concept and idea, which has become an important tool in promoting and communicating South Africa's foreign policy and disseminating information about South Africa across the world.

Since its inception in October 2013, Ubuntu Radio has been steadily positioning itself as an authority when it comes to "telling the African story by Africans from an African perspective" and has managed to gain and continues to grow its listenership and reach.

Other recipients included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received the Gulen Peace Award, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, Prof Adam Habib, who received the Academia Award, and late African National Congress president, Oliver Tambo, who was posthumously honoured with the Freedom Award.
African political and business leaders (both international and from across the continent) will discuss innovative structural reforms and investments that can help sustain the continent’s growth, create jobs and prosperity for all.
President Jacob Zuma will send three Ministers to represent South Africa at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa Summit in Abuja, Nigeria from 7 to 9 May 2014.

The Ministers who will attend WEF on Africa are Rob Davies (Trade and Industry), Pravin Gordhan (Finance), and Lechesa Tsenoli (Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs).

“The summit in Abuja takes place against the backdrop of a much improved outlook for economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. In its most recent regional economic outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa will pick up from 4.9% in 2013 to 5.5% this year, an acceleration which the IMF ascribed to improved prospects in a large number of countries in the region,’’ said Minister Gordhan, the lead Minister on WEF.
The meeting between the Ministers was the culmination of a weeklong programme in support of the United Nations Declaration of 2014 as the “International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”
International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, met with her counterpart, Dr Raid Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, in Pretoria on 2 May 2014 for bilateral consultations.

Amongst the issues discussed between the Ministers were the current state of South Africa-Palestine relations, the consolidation of Africa-Palestine relations, the recent reconciliation agreement reached between Fatah and Hamas, as well as the Middle East Peace Process.

In showing South Africa’s support for the Palestinian cause, the South African Government played host to the Palestinian Heads of Mission Conference for African Ambassadors, held in Cape Town from 29 to 30 April.

In addition, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation also hosted a Palestinian Solidarity Seminar in Cape Town, with the involvement of civil society and academia to create awareness of the Palestinian cause.

South Africa and Palestine have enjoyed warm relations since the inception of democracy, and the establishment of official diplomatic relations between a democratic South Africa and Palestine in 1995.
American David Wagner ended his South African safari with a victory over Lucas Sithole in the final of the quads in the Airports Company South Africa SA Open at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 3 May 2014. In a showdown between the world number one and two, it was the more experienced Wagner who won 6-2 6-3.
There was success for South Africa's Montjane in the women's doubles final. She and Marjolein Buis of The Netherlands thrashed Van Koot and Lucy Shuker 6-0 6-1 to lift the title. Source:
The South African women's hockey team claimed third place in the FIH Champions Challenge in Glasgow on 4 May 2014 after edging Spain 1-0 in a tightly contested match for the bronze medal. The USA lifted the title with a 3-1 victory over Ireland.
Dirkie Chamberlain's penalty stroke three minutes from time decided the outcome. The victory served as a degree of consolation for the girls in green and gold, who were unfortunate to lose their Saturday semi-final 2-1 to Ireland despite dominating the match.

The SA team will be flying to The Netherlands this weekend for a training camp ahead of the World Cup in The Hague, which takes place from 31 May to 15 June. Source:
The practice of foreign countries and international organisations monitoring elections is accepted as one of the ways in which the international community can monitor and promote compliance with democratic values, principles and practices. In the last 20 years of democracy, South African election observer missions, comprising government, parliamentary and civil society delegates, have been deployed to many parts of the world, mostly in Africa, to act as election observers.
The South African Government has acknowledged and welcomed the presence of various international election observer missions in the country ahead of the 2014 National and Provincial Elections, scheduled for tomorrow, 7 May 2014.

These missions include those dispatched by the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the Commonwealth. The United Nations has also been invited to send an election observer mission.

The international election observers are spread across all nine provinces to assess the conduct of the South African electoral process and monitor compliance with international standards. Government has urged all those participating in the election to cooperate with the observers.
A new, larger ballot paper template has been developed to help visually impaired voters to cast their votes without assistance in the 7 May 2014 general election, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced on 2 May 2014.
According to the IEC, the new cardboard template accommodates the national ballot paper featuring 29 parties, and replaces the plastic universal ballot template used in previous elections, which could only accommodate up to 18 parties. The template, which features windows numbered in Braille as well as raised lettering for people with different tactile-literacy levels, will be used for both provincial and national ballots on election day, with the number of parties appearing on the ballot papers as follows:
  • National - 29 parties
  • Eastern Cape - 18 parties
  • Free State - 16 parties
  • Gauteng - 22 parties
  • KwaZulu-Natal - 18 parties
  • Limpopo - 20 parties
  • Mpumalanga - 16 parties
  • Northern Cape - 16 parties
  • North West - 16 parties
  • Western Cape - 26 parties
Voters who wish to familiarise themselves with the order of political parties on the national and provincial ballots before going to vote can contact the IEC's call centre on 0800 118 000 and select the self-service option to hear the full list of parties. Calls are free if made from a Telkom land-line.
"The SANDF [SA National Defence Force] also stands ready to provide additional deployments, in support of the SAPS [SA Police Service], should the need arise," the Minister said.
The authorities will adopt a zero-tolerance approach towards any person or group who attempts to disrupt South Africa's general election on 7 May 2014, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on 3 May 2014.

“No one will be allowed to prevent anyone from exercising his or her constitutionally enshrined right to vote. Security structures have been mobilised and stand ready to act swiftly to remove disruptive elements and ensure that our people feel free and safe to go out and exercise their right to vote," the Minister said.

A report by the South Africa's security agencies has noted that the country is stable and the environment is conducive for successful elections, save for a few areas that have been flagged as "hot-spots". Source:
According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), more young South Africans have registered to vote in this election than ever before - with 49.57% of registered voters under 40 years old.


Are you ready?
If you are a South African citizen 18 years or older and have registered to vote, remember:
  • Voting stations are open from 7am to 9pm on 7 May 2014
  • You must vote where you registered. SMS your ID number to 32810 to confirm your     correct voting station. SMSs cost R1. Or you can check your registration details on the IEC's website
  • Take along your green bar-coded South African ID book, or a smart ID card, or your temporary identity certificate.
Download the app
The IEC has designed an app especially for voters which allow you to check your registration details, find your voting station - and keep up to date via social media. Go to to find out where to download the IEC’s voters app.
The voting process
  1. Entrance: When you get to the entrance of the voting station, the door controller will tell you when it is your turn to enter.

  2. ID Document: You will be directed to the voters' roll table where IEC staff will look at your ID book or temporary ID certificate and check for your name on the voters' roll.

  3. If you are not on the voters' roll, but have proof that you have registered, such as a registration sticker, the presiding officer must validate your proof of registration. If the officer is satisfied with the proof, you will have to complete a VEC4 form (national elections) or MEC7 form (municipal elections) and will then be allowed to continue as an ordinary voter.

  4. Inked thumb: IEC staff will ink your left thumb. This is special ink that will not wash off for several days. It will show everyone you participated (and prevent people from voting more than once). Your ID book will also be stamped to show you have voted.

  5. Ballot paper: The voting officer will stamp the back of two official ballot papers (one for the national election; the other for the provincial election) and give them to you.

  6. Voting booth: You will be directed to an empty voting booth. You will be alone in a voting booth. Your vote is your secret. Here, you will place your X in the box next to the political party of your choice on both ballot papers. Your vote does not have to be the same. Fold your papers and leave the voting booth.

  7. If you incorrectly mark a ballot paper and realise this before placing it in the ballot box, just ask the presiding officer for a new ballot paper. Make sure that the incorrect ballot paper is marked as "cancelled".

  8. Ballot box: Place your folded ballot papers into the right ballot box: one for national; the other for provincial votes. Once your ballot has been placed in the ballot box, it can't be removed.

  9. Exit: Make your way to the exit. Security staff will be there to help you.

    Physically disabled voters

  10. If you are physically disabled or visually impaired, you can choose someone to help you at the voting station. The Presiding Officer can also help you cast your vote, but an observer and, if available, two agents from different parties must be present.

    The ballot papers

  11. An IEC official will give you two ballot papers that will be stamped on the back. One paper is for you to choose your preferred party for the National Assembly. The other paper is for you to choose your preferred party for the provincial legislature for the province in which you live.

  12. You do not have to fill in the same party on both ballot papers - you can choose different parties if you want.

  13. What information is on the ballot papers?

    • The full name of each political party
    • The abbreviated name or shortened name of each party
    • The logo or symbol of each party
    • A photograph of each party leader
    • A blank space for you to indicate the party of your choice

  14. How do you make your mark?
    • Make your mark in the box next to the party of your choice. Make only one mark per ballot paper. Your mark must not touch any of the walls/lines of the box. It is best to make a cross.
    • If you make a mistake, do not put your paper in the box. Call an IEC official, who will cancel your paper and give you a new one.
    • Once you have made your mark, fold each ballot paper in half. An IEC official will then check the stamp on the back of every ballot. You can then place your paper into the relevant boxes.

  15. The counting process
    • The overall election results will be worked out using a computer system at centralised venues under the control of the IEC.
    • Counting mostly happens at each voting station. Votes can be counted at a place other than at the voting station only with the approval of the IEC.
    • Since the 2009 elections, there are improved controls over the record paper with the final results for a voting station. This has to be signed by the presiding officer and all political parties, and then scanned to create an immediate record and so more trust and openness in the process of compiling results.

  16. Objections
    • You can object against anything that happens during the elections that can affect the election results.
    • You must make an objection before 5pm on the second day after voting.
    • The IEC will investigate your objection and can ask you to give evidence about the objection.
    • The IEC will decide what to do about the objection. The IEC must make a decision within three days after receiving your objection.
    • If you are not happy with the IEC's decision, you can appeal to the Electoral Court within three days of the IEC's decision.

  17. After all objections are dealt with, the IEC must announce the final results within seven days of Election Day. In practice, the IEC has managed to announce election results on the third day after Voting Day. Source:
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