The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has indicated that it’s seemingly that nationwide elections might be held in Could subsequent yr (Report, September 21). Time is brief, however circumstances will not be conducive to holding credible elections.
Final month, the Moerane fee printed its long-awaited report on political assassinations. He obtained little protection in the UK, however his findings are extraordinarily worrying. The report begins by saying: "The seemingly infinite homicide of politicians in KwaZulu-Natal is a symptom of a critical pathology within the political physique of the province." The fee found a nexus of corruption and homicide all through the province, with at the very least 120 politically associated murders since 2011.
These murders will not be restricted to a province. The Impartial Electoral Fee warned that there’s a correlation between electoral and political competitors that "impairs the general public's willingness to decide to democracy," and that the "underlying causes of the homicide of politicians are probably current in all provinces."
Such warnings ought to be taken significantly. It’s vitally necessary that the worldwide neighborhood, which did a lot to help South African democracy in the course of the darkish days of apartheid, acts directly to make sure that subsequent yr's nationwide elections are free and honest. Working by the Commonwealth and the EU, Britain can play a significant position in sending commentary missions to cowl each the pre-election interval and the election itself.
Principal investigator, Institute of Commonwealth Research, College of London.
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