SEOM LAUNCHED IN PRETORIA
SADC Executive Secretary H.E Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax today underscored the importance of a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process in the South African elections. Speaking at the official launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) in Pretoria, Dr. Tax said the dissemination of democratic values and principles among all relevant stakeholders and society in general is a responsibility of all stakeholders in the elections.
She said "It is important to underscore the paramount importance of the current elections, as they come at the time when we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the new multi-racial and democratic South Africa, after the end of the Apartheid in the country".
Dr. Tax said the presence of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) in the Republic of South Africa is not only to support the democratic process in the country, but also to ensure that the provisions of the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections are adhered to in the conduct of democratic elections.
The SADC Executive Secretary also hailed SADC Member States for entrenching democratic values and practices; with firm commitment to enhancing democracy and democratic institutions in our Region, pointing out that the elections in South Africa will be followed by elections in Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia later this year.
SEOM was launched by Honourable Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Deputy Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) and Deputy Head of SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM), accompanied by Honourable Peya Mushelenga, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Namibia. The launch ceremony was attended by Honourable Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa, representatives of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa, political parties, Election Observation Missions, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, religious leaders, Civil Society and the media.
The SEOM deployed around one hundred and sixty (160) Observers in all nine (9) provinces of South Africa, on invitation from the Government of the country in accordance with the provisions of the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
Launch statements of Minister Tsekoa and Dr. Tax are available here, in the speeches column of the SADC Official Website.