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SA Institute of Chartered Accountants to independently observe elections

This is the second time the accounting body is carrying out this task after the 2016 local government elections.

FILE: Voters cast their ballots. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) has been accredited by the Independent Electoral Commission to independently observe the elections next week.

This is the second time the accounting body is carrying out this task after the 2016 local government elections.
Saica’s brand senior executive Willi Coates said 350 members would observe voting at 1,300 stations on 8 May.

“Our Saica members will be observing as independent observers. They observe before elections start, the opening process, the voting process and the counting and reconciliation of numbers.”

He said they had resolved to have members involved this year, as their last observing mission was a success.

“The reason our members agreed to do this is because they believe in free and fair elections. Members want to give back to the nation in terms of nation-building.”

Coates said it was commendable that their members had volunteered to carry out their duties for the good of the country.

Saica said it did not discriminate on which firms to pick from when vetting the auditors who will be observing next week’s elections.

Coates said the main requirement for its members - who wanted to volunteer as observers - was that they be in good standing.

“The evaluated criteria was that they needed to be members or associates in good standing and there were no trainees barred from the process.”

Jeanne-Mari Retief, the human rights consultant and attorney who was assisting Saica with accreditation, said there were other requirements.

“Every observer mission has an election manifesto that they have to draft and submit with the application for accreditation.”

Coates said members from controversial firms, like KPMG, were not barred from volunteering but were vetted like all the others.

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