Official View of the South African Government on the African Union’s report on the Zimbabwean election process
FOR ORAL REPLY
QUESTION NO: 211 (NO2395E)
PUBLISHED IN QUESTION PAPER NO: 7-2013 OF 21 AUGUST 2013
THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:
(1) What is the Government’s official view on the African Union’s report on the Zimbabwean election process?
South Africa is a founding member of the African Union, and as such, has acceded to various AU instruments that govern the conduct of democratic elections, including the Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which came into force in 2012, and the OAU/AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa. In this regard, South Africa considers elections as a platform by which the nurturing of governance through the electoral processes enhances democracy and builds solid foundations for citizen’s full participation in democratic processes.
The 31 July 2013, Zimbabwe Harmonised Elections marked an important milestone in the political life of Zimbabwe as a country and for the region as a whole. Holding regular elections remains an indispensable marker of progress and the entrenchment of democracy in any country in the world.
The people and Government of Zimbabwe should be commended for their resolve to craft their own destiny despite the noted shortcomings they faced relating to preparations that included, amongst others, logistical and funding challenges.
In this regard, South Africa as member of the African Union attaches great significance to the conclusions of the African Union Observer Mission and fully supports the recommendations made by the sixty member observer mission.