24 February 2021 - NW81
Hlengwa, Mr M to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
Whether, considering the widespread allegations of human rights violations and intimidation by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, it is the Republic’s position that the Ugandan Elections have been free and fair; if not, what is the position in this regard ; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) Whether it is the Government’s position that the election outcome is legitimate; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? NW84E
1. South Africa is not in a position to pronounce on whether the Ugandan Elections were free and fair because it did not observe the Elections. Based on the African Union principle of subsidiarity, which mandates regional organisations to take the lead in managing political and other issues occurring in their respective regions, South Africa defers its position to observations that were made by the East African Community (EAC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that had sent Elections Observer Missions to Uganda. Unfortunately, the African Union did not send an Elections Observer Mission which could also have guided South Africa’s position. Both these regional authorities did not pronounce on whether the Ugandan Elections were free and fair.
2. The outcome of the Elections was announced by a legitimate entity in Uganda, the Election Commission, on 16 January 2021. However, it was reported on 21 January 2021 that one of the Presidential contestants, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has challenged the outcome of the Elections. He lodged his complaints with in the Supreme Court of Uganda, which is the apex court in Uganda. He also has an option of referring the matter to the East Africa Court of Justice which also has jurisdiction following the exhaustion of local remedies. South Africa supports the resolution of political disputes through political and legal means, and will await the the outcome of the judicial process which is currently underway.