Restrictions placed on countries observers are sent to for election observer missions by the Department of International Relations, South African embassies, or high commissions

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 1477 (NW1646E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO. 16-2016 OF 20 MAY 2016.

MR J SELFE (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

(1) Whether (a) her department and/or (b) any of South Africa’s (i) embassies and/or (ii) high commissions have placed any restrictions on (aa) the places where observers are sent to and (bb) the number of observers that are sent for election observer missions; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details in each case? NW1646E

REPLY:

(1) South Africa has placed no restrictions on the places where observers are sent and the number of observers. It has to be noted that as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), South Africa deploys observers to SADC Member States as part of SADC Election Observation Missions (SEOMs) in line with the Revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections adopted in July 2015. The revised Principles and Guidelines make provision for the SADC Secretariat to determine the number of observers to be deployed to each Member State holding elections. The number of observers required is determined by the political context, geographical size and financial considerations.

As Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and during 2014-2015, South Africa led SEOMs to Botswana (October 2014), Mozambique (October 2014), Namibia (November 2014), Mauritius (December 2014), Zambia (January 2015), and Lesotho (February 2015).

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