The Church electoral observer however recounted not witnessing any sort of intimidation from the political parties. He said, “There was no chanting, there were no songs, there was nothing. Politicians and their supporters were just sitting peacefully, observing the process.”
Mr. Mpuang’s recommendation to South Africa’s electoral commission is to always prepare enough ahead of elections to avoid inconveniences.
He found it regrettable that the country’s election, which was to be held in July, had been pushed to November, giving the organizers a short time to prepare.
“Elections, in my experience, are planned two years in advance. So, there wasn't enough time because of the uncertainty that was caused by the pandemic,” Mr. Mpuang said.
He said that owing to internet challenges and the use of inefficient tools in certain voting stations, election results in those stations may be unreliable.
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“We need to make sure that we’ve got stable connectivity and stable and reliable machines. At some station, the presiding officer had to continually restart and reboot the system because it was not working well,” he said.
The JPC official expressed his appreciation for the involvement of young Catholics in South Africa in the country’s elections.
“I am immensely impressed with the enthusiasm of our youth, especially those in the Justice and Peace Commission because they are exciting involvement in community matters,” he said, and maintained the need to give the Church more space to participate in community matters.
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.