• peacekeeping
  • women
  • peacemaking
  • peacebuild
  • knowledge

The 2009 Kwazulu-Natal Election

Based on its mandate from the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, ACCORD, in collaboration with its African Alliance for Peace (AfAP) partners, the Nairobi Peace Initiative-Africa (NPI-Africa) and the West Africa Network for Peace (WANEP), undertook to contribute towards creating a climate for peaceful, free and fair elections. This report examines electoral related intimidation and violence during the 2009 provincial election and is based on the findings of the AfAP observer teams.

Download Report

During the 2009 South African national and provincial elections, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), based on a mandate from the Legislature of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, undertook to design and deploy an Election Observer Mission in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The Observer Mission known as the African Alliance for Peace (AfAP), included ACCORD partners the Nairobi Peace Initiative-Africa (NPI-Africa) and the West Africa Network for Peace (WANEP). The AfAP Observer Mission sought to contribute towards creating a climate for peaceful, free and fair elections by observing and monitoring levels of violence and intolerance in KwaZulu-Natal between 18 and 24 April 2009. The AfAP was headed by former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo. The observer teams were staffed by delegates from the rest of Africa who were senior experts in the fields of conflict resolution and peacebuilding; and by South Africans, mainly students from the University of KwaZulu- Natal deployed through the Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit (MWRRU). The mission was divided into 24 teams, and was deployed to 11 hotspot areas during the pre- polling, polling and post-polling phases of the 2009 elections in KwaZulu-Natal. Each team observed polling at approximately 20 stations, thus totalling the number of stations observed to nearly 400.

This report is based on the analysis of 523 observation records submitted by the AfAP observer teams covering the pre-polling, polling and post polling periods of the elections in KwaZulu-Natal in violent ‘hot spots’ throughout the province. The observation records were designed to illicit information regarding the presence of election related violence or intimidation. The analysis in this report was carried out by the University of KwaZulu- Natal’s Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit, under the leadership of Professor Paulus Zulu.

The findings point to key conclusions that the 2009 elections in KwaZulu-Natal were generally free of violence and intimidation. Although there were instances that called for attention, the results of this study indicate that South Africans in the province were able to cast their votes freely. The main findings of the observation reports indicated that:

  • Campaigning in the traditional ‘hot spots’ in KwaZulu-Natal during the pre-polling phase was generally free of violence and intimidation;
  • The large majority of voting stations observed during polling were accessible to the electorate;
  • A third of voting stations observed had campaign activities within or directly in their proximity while a tenth had individuals inside or near polling stations influencing voters;
  • The majority of voting stations observed on election day reflected the fact that women were not specific targets for election related violence and intimidation;
  • Ninety-nine percent of voting stations observed on election day were free from specific incidents of violence and intimidation;
  • Only 12 percent of observations registered the presence of items categorised as weapons during polling;
  • In more than nine in ten (95 percent) of the observations made, there were neither contentious issues nor dissenting opinions regarding the counting and recording of votes; and
  • In the post-polling phase only 4 percent of observed polling stations lodged complaints with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The value of election observer missions in general was also revealed by the AfAP. In a de-briefing session, observers reported that the visibility of the AfAP in polling stations lead to an overall feeling of voter security and was generally welcomed by IEC officials. Indeed the fact that all parties concerned agreed to the AfAP’s deployment at a seminar on political intolerance hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature in February 2009 indicates a commitment to cooperation for the furtherance of free, fair and non-violent elections in South Africa. Finally, the presence of both local and African observers enhanced the AfAP’s neutrality and legitimacy. The MWRRU analysis corroborates the final pronouncement of the AfAP Observer Mission. The elections went without serious incidents prompting former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, as leader of the AfAP Observer Mission to declare at the end of the observation period, that in spite of the few isolated and sporadic incidents of political intolerance, “this will not substantially adversely affect the outcome of the results of the elections”.

This report seeks to document the outcome of the AfAP Observer Mission, and highlight specific considerations which need to be observed by violence monitors during elections. The key findings, derived from the AfAP election observation documents, focus on behaviour and presence which might lead to creating a culture of intolerance and intimidation during elections. Thus, while election observation traditionally focuses on the procedures of polling, the AfAP team monitored the presence and behaviour of political actors and the ability for voters to move freely to exercise their right to vote. Distinguishing from procedural elements, AfAP observers moving among voters, security officials, the media, political actors and other independent election observers, concentrated on the climate of the polling, and the manner in which political intolerance was mediated or diminished. The result of this observation procedure is evidenced in the collection of hundreds of records.

Latest News and Resources

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

ACCORD at second African Think Tank summit

A delegation from ACCORD have attended the 2nd African Think Tank Summit, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 6 – 8 April. The event was attended by over 60 think tanks, with participants from 30 countries. The first Summit was...

10-04-2015 in General

ACCORD represented at World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit in Africa

'Vusa izizwe namhlanje!' (Wake up the nations today!) was the motto of the World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit in Africa at which the ACCORD was represented by Prof Jannie Malan, Senior Researcher and Managing Editor of the African Journal...

10-04-2015 in Knowledge Production

TfP/ACCORD support African Standby Capacity Integrated Human Resource and Database Training Course

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) have been developing a civilian standby roster since its conceptualisation in 2010. To date, significant progress has been made to improve the roster in order...

09-04-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD discuss MoU with IGAD in support of peace and security in the region

ACCORD has hosted H.E. Ambassador Tewolde Gebremeskel, the Director of Peace and Security at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). H.E. Ambassador Gebremeskel represented IGAD's Executive Secretary, H.E. Ambassador Mahboub Maalim. The visit enabled discussions between the regional body (IGAD...

09-04-2015 in General

ACCORD attend 2015 TfP AGM in Olso

The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) have participated in the TfP Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Oslo, Norway. The AGM's purpose was to highlight the TfP Programme's main achievements and developments in 2014, and present...

02-04-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD publishes policy & practice brief on the eve of Nigeria's highly anticipated election

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) has published a Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) on the upcoming election in Nigeria. Co-authored by J. Shola Omotola, a Senior Lecturer in political science and public administration at Redeemer's...

27-03-2015 in Knowledge Production

ACCORD host launch of Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu biography

On 24th March 2014 ACCORD hosted the launch of Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu's biography, entitled "A Life of Purpose". The book follows Professor Nkuhlu's memorable path from student activist, to Robben Island prisoner at 19, to becoming South Africa's first black...

26-03-2015 in Trustees

ACCORD Trustee Ambassador Modise recognized at the inaugural Ubuntu Awards

On 14 February 2015 ACCORD Trustee H.E. Ambassador Billy Modise, was one of the recipients of the Ubuntu Lifetime Achiever Award, presented at the inaugural Ubuntu Awards ceremony hosted by the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)...

12-03-2015 in Trustees

Peacebuilding in Africa: evolving challenges, responses and new thinking

From the 23th to the 25th of February 2015, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) was represented at a conference hosted by Wilton Park in the United Kingdom, organized under the theme of 'Peacebuilding in Africa:...

12-03-2015 in Peacebuilding

TfP/ACCORD participate in expert workshop on impact of peacekeeping training on peace and security in West Africa

The Training for Peace in Africa (TfP) Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) participated in an Expert workshop on Impact of Peacekeeping Training on Peace and Security in West Africa. The workshop forms part of a research on peacekeeping training which was...

10-03-2015 in Peacekeeping

Lesotho elections the topic of discussion at recent ACCORD internal staff seminar

On 26 February 2015, two days before the general elections that took place in the Kingdom of Lesotho, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) hosted an internal staff seminar where Thulisa Ndlela, Programme Officer in the...

06-03-2015 in Knowledge Production

TfP/ACCORD supports African Regional Consultation Seminar on UN Peace Operations Review

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon established a 17 member High-Level Independent Panel in October 2014 to undertake an assessment of the state of UN peace operations, and the emerging operational needs of the future" 'Understanding the relationship between the...

06-03-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD discuss gender normative frameworks and nuanced challenges to gender parity and empowerment in Africa ahead of International Women's Day

Broad discussion and debate on the nuanced challenges to the achievement of gender parity and women's empowerment in Africa characterised an Internal Staff Seminar (ISS) recently hosted at the Durban offices of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of...

06-03-2015 in Women

ACCORD hosts senior official from SA Department of International Relations & Cooperation

On Friday 20 February 2015, ACCORD hosted Ms Maud Dlomo, Deputy Director General (DDG) for Training, Research and Development at the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) for a visit to ACCORD House in Durban, South Africa.

23-02-2015 in General

ACCORD/TfP co-hosts experts’ roundtable on developing a Conduct and Discipline Framework for the AU PSOs

Since its establishment, the AU has played an increased and expanded role in addressing conflicts in the African Continent, including in Darfur, Burundi, Mali, the Central Africa Republic and Somalia. As part of its intervention, the AU has developed policies...

20-02-2015 in Peacekeeping

ACCORD's Executive Director participates in World Bank forum on fragility, conflict and violence

Increasing recognition of the relationships and dynamics between state fragility, conflict and violence now positions these issues amongst the central foci of conflict and development practitioners worldwide. It is in this light that ACCORD's Founder and Executive Director participated in...

20-02-2015 in Executive

Advancing an African peacebuilding agenda

From the 11th to the 12th of February 2015, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) was represented at a conference hosted by the Institute of Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa, organized under the theme of...

20-02-2015 in Peacebuilding

Report on the Fourth International Africa Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference published by ACCORD

The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), in partnership with the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) at California State University, Sacramento, have published a report on the proceedings of the Fourth International Africa Peace...

16-02-2015 in Knowledge Production