Some opposition parties unable to monitor ballot printing in South Africa

THE scrutiny and monitoring of the printing of the Presidential and National Assembly ballot papers in South Africa will be left to two political parties, the Rally for Progress and Democracy (RDP) and the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) of Namibia, Informanté has learnt.

Most opposition parties except the RDP and the DTA of Namibia cannot afford to monitor the printing of ballot papers in South Africa.

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) last week awarded Ren-Form cc, a South African company the ballot paper printing tender after opposition parties had complained about government’s awarding of the printing tender to the Swapo company, Namprint.

Ren-Form cc has printed millions of ballot papers for South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana and Mozambique for their recent elections.

However, only RDP and DTA and the ruling Swapo party have confirmed that they will be in South Africa to monitor the printing of ballot papers.
Swapo’s Secretary-General, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana confirmed on behalf of the ruling party. “Of course, we will be there, why not?”
Chief of Administration for RDP, Libolly Haufiku, also confirmed saying, “Yes, RDP will be there.”

Johann de Waal, Chairperson of the DTA of Namibia said they were still busy organising transport to send their representative to monitor the printing of ballot papers.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party (RP) leader, Henk Mudge and Ben Ulenga of the Congress of Democrats (CoD) said they cannot afford to monitor the printing of the ballot papers unless the ECN makes available funds.

Ulenga argued that the ECN must pay for them to monitor the printing of ballot papers because it is a requirement.

“We won’t unless Government pays for it. We did not tell them to give it (tender) to South Africa,” Ulenga said.

Mudge was not sure whether the RP will make it to South Africa because he first wanted to coordinate with other opposition parties so that they can send one representative.

“My common sense is telling me to coordinate with other parties because it will be very expensive for every political party to send someone over,” Mudge said.

NUDO’s Teo Uahongora said they were also not sure but were planning to.

ECN’s Deputy Director of Electoral Operations, Theofilus Mujoro said the ECN is not required to pay for any political party to monitor ballot paper printing in South Africa.

He said they have asked parties to submit names of their delegates so that Ren-Form cc would know who to expect.

“We discussed that the ECN will only give the delegates that are going the physical address of Ren-Form cc,” Mujoro said.

Mujoro could also not say how many observers will monitor the Namibian elections because they still do not have a definite number since invitations are still coming.

“We are still busy because the process of accreditation takes long but we will have a definite answer within three weeks,” he said.


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