Media Statement by the Women’s Election Mechanism for Peace on Undermining the Credibility of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission

By Published On: 27th May 2024

On the eve of South Africa’s 2024 National and Provincial Elections the Women’s Election Mechanism for Peace (WEMP) is deeply concerned about the attempts to undermine the credibility of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), and in so doing the integrity of the elections.

This trend was first noticeable in the messages conveyed by political party representatives about the IEC’s readiness to conduct the elections. Its newest iterations are the videos circulating about the IEC’s lack of pens at voting stations and the alleged “vote rigging” in eThekwini municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. The individuals who filmed the video entered the premises without authorisation.  They filmed the delivery of ballot papers in preparation for the upcoming elections and then depicted this as if it was ballots already cast.

This is a clear attempt to undermine the integrity of the elections. The spread of such misinformation and disinformation must be condemned in the strongest terms as its ultimate goal is to cast a long shadow of doubt on the results of the election. These are the kinds of dubious actions that engender election-related violence and lead to the spiralling of a country into conflict.

The Women’s Election Mechanism for Peace (WEMP) implores the law enforcement agencies to immediately investigate this matter and take action against these individuals.

We call on all who live in South Africa to protect our hard-won democracy by not spreading misinformation and disinformation and by reporting those who do.

We call on political parties and independent candidates to adequately explain voting processes to their supporters to avoid any further misinformation.

In line with the South African National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security adopted by government in 2020, WEMP is designed to have women engage in conflict prevention (early warning, preventative diplomacy, mediation and election observation) and in so doing contributes towards a peaceful, credible election and to the building of a broader peace infrastructure in South Africa.

The objectives of WEMP are:

  1. To advocate for peace during the elections;
  2. To utilise, and increase the number o, women trained in conflict management: WEMP will deploy women as special envoys, peace advocates and peace monitors and establish peace rooms to track incidents of conflict and intervene where necessary: WEMP is deploying 250 women as Peace Monitors and setting up peace rooms in Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and Western Cape;
  3. To provide analysis on the conflict and gender dimensions of the elections;
  4. To enable women’s participation in peace processes and in election monitoring;
  5. To support women candidates and women voters who are threatened during elections;
  6. To contribute to the development of a robust peace infrastructure in South Africa.

Issued by the Special Envoys of the Women’s Election Mechanism for Peace

Thoko Mpumlwana – Gauteng

Nana Nxumalo – Limpopo

Mmabatho Ramagoshi – Eastern Cape

Janet Jobson – Western Cape

Nomabelu Mvambo-Dandala – KwaZulu-Natal


For media queries: Pease contact Prof Cheryl Hendricks -+27 0827704729



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