14 January 2019
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation has noted misleading headlines in the media on South African position on DRC elections, South Africa would like to restate and emphasise the following position:
1. South Africa commends the Congolese people, the Government of the DRC and all political actors for their commitment to ensuring a peaceful, independent and credible electoral process despite serious challenges.
2. Given the vast size of the DRC and the security and logistical challenges that exists, coupled with the impediments brought about by the devastating Ebola outbreak, the DRC Authorities, particularly the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) should be congratulated for their efforts in organising a peaceful election.
3. South Africa commends the DRC Government, supported by the UN Peacekeeping Mission (MONUSCO), for ensuring that the elections were conducted in a relatively peaceful environment.
4. South Africa calls on all parties to preserve the generally peaceful climate of the elections and we take note of grievances that have been raised through the proper constitutional mechanisms and processes. In this regard, we call on the international community to respect these internal legal processes and to refrain from pre-judging the outcome.
5. Any outside interference in these sovereign processes may provoke violence and risk undermining the generally peaceful climate following the elections.
6. Any outcome to the election process remains the sovereign right of the DRC. South Africa thus calls on all parties in the DRC as well as the international community to allow the internal constitutional mechanisms and legal processes to follow its due course.
7. South Africa will therefore not pre-empt this internal process by calling for a recount, prescribe a form of government or presuppose an outcome of the elections process.
8. South African strongly believes that those issues are best left to political parties and the people of the DRC to lead and South Africa and the international community must support.
9. President Ramaphosa issued a statement on 9 January 2019 in which he congratulates “all parties and stakeholders in the DRC for ensuring peace and stability during the election process and urges all regional, international and the interested parties to refrain from speculation and allow CENI to complete the process”. The President also “urges all political parties and their supporters to allow CENI to perform its legal and constitutional duties without interference and pressure”.
10. South Africa expects the international community to do all it can to support the Congolese authorities to maintain a peaceful and stable environment following these landmark elections. This is necessary in order to facilitate the historic outcome of the first ever democratic transfer of power in the DRC.
South Africa stands ready to the support the DRC during this process.
Enquiries: Ndivhuwo Mabaya, DIRCO Spokesperson and Head of Communications, 083 645 7838
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road