For Immediate Release
Monday, May 13, 2019
Rainbow PUSH Coalition Part of History in South Africa
As South Africa marks 25 years of democracy this year (1994 - 2019), its citizens went to the polls last week for the fifth time in national and provincial elections to determine the leadership and direction of their beloved country.
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC)had two representatives on the team of International Observers – James Gomez, International Director, and Axel Adams, Executive Director of the Peachtree Street Project and National Director 1000 Churches Connected Program.
“We visited and observed polling places across Johannesburg and Soweto,” Gomez said. “We witnessed thousands of people of all races bracing the cold to peacefully cast their ballots and once again show the world what democracy looks like.”
All told there were 11 international observer groups which included the African Union (AU), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy (EISA).
“We can state, based on our observations, this was another peaceful democratic election process,” Gomez said.
Prior to Election Day, Gomez and Adams attended an international observer briefing led by Sy Mamabolo, Chief Electoral Officer of South Africa and his team.
On Election Day (Wednesday, May 8th, 2019), polls opened from 6:00am - 9:0pm. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition team spent much of election day at the polling station at the University of Johannesburg. But Gomez and Adams also visited several polling stations in Soweto, including Benoni - Chief Albert Luthuli Park.
After the polls closed, they traveled to the Election Result Centre in Pretoria where all 48 political parties were represented. “The people were excited to participate, to cast their ballots,” Gomez said. “They had been listening to politicians for months. This was their moment to have their say.”