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S.African electoral commission says country prepared for upcoming polls

Young boys walk past election posters in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, May 28, 2024, ahead of the elections on Wednesday May 29   -  
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Themba Hadebe/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

South Africa

South Africa is prepared for Wednesday’s landmark general election despite “orchestration to undermine the credibility of the outcome” after videos circulated over the weekend raised suspicions of the transparency of the process.

Almost a million votes have already been cast in special voting permitted for those who are unable to vote Wednesday. Polls open at 7 a.m. Wednesday, and acc ording to the IEC, more than 27 million voters total are registered in the country of 60 million.

Sy Mamabolo, Chief Electoral Officer of the Independent Electoral Commission, said at the briefing that “in this election there’s a clear orchestration to undermine the credibility of the outcome.”

He was referencing videos of an incident in the Eastern Cape province involving a truck that contained electoral rolls that was looted amid a taxi strike.

“The videos that you saw over the weekend are not an accident, but it’s a clear, orchestrated endeavour to say that this election could not have been free and fair, even before they happen,” Mamabolo said.

Mamabolo also added that a turnout of anything above the 66% registered in 2019 "will be satisfactory."

Ruling party the African National Congress is for the first time facing the possibility of losing power with several polls putting their support at less than 50%. If they are unable to obtain more than 50% of the vote, they will have to form a coalition with other parties if they want to reelect President Cyril Ramaphosa under the country’s parliamentary electoral system.