South African Jews Will Monitor Election

Board of Deputies Deploys Team as Nation Goes to Polls

Keeping Tabs: South African President Jacob Zuma, who is running for reelection, speaks at unveiling of giant statue of Nelson Mandela.
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Keeping Tabs: South African President Jacob Zuma, who is running for reelection, speaks at unveiling of giant statue of Nelson Mandela.

By Michael Kaplan

Published May 05, 2014.
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South Africa’s most prominent Jewish organization is gearing up to help with the country’s upcoming national elections.

More than 100 observers will be stationed at voting stations across the country on Wednesday as part of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ Make Us Count team.

“The observers will be checking the opening of the polls, dealing with various problems at the stations during the day and ensuring that the polls are closed on time and the counting began in due process,” a statement sent out by the organization said. Some of the team will also help count the votes the following day.

According to the statement, the Make Us Count team reaches beyond the South African Jewish community and has also signed up observers of other faiths and nationalities living in South Africa.

The voting day initiative comes as the South African Jewish Board of Deputies has launched a campaign to encourage South Africans living both domestically and abroad to register to vote.

President Jacob Zuma is running for reelection and polls say he will win handily, despite controversies over corruption and mismanagement of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy.

Jews have been permitted to vote for decades in South Africa, but the black majority voted for the first time in 1994 after the fall of apartheid ushered in multiracial democracy.


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