Date: May 28, 2024 Type: Country:

South Africa: Ensure that the 2024 elections are free and fair and that rights are upheld

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), political parties, candidates and authorities must ensure that the 2024 general elections are free and fair and that all eligible voters are given the opportunity to cast their ballot, Amnesty International South Africa said ahead of the polls on Wednesday. 

“The IEC officials, political parties, candidates and authorities must ensure that human rights are upheld. This includes the right to freedom of expression, dignity and safety. There must be no space for fear and intimidation of voters during the election and the safety and security of everyone, no matter who they are, must be respected before, during and after elections,” Amnesty International South Africa Executive Director Shenilla Mohamed said. 

“The Bill of Rights in the Constitution grants all citizens, 18 and older the right to vote and this was one of the rights which was fought for during the fight for freedom in South Africa.”

Amnesty International South Africa will be monitoring the situation on election day and in the days after the poll when votes will be counted. 

Vote for Human Rights

This year Amnesty International South Africa is encouraging citizens to consider human rights when they make their mark on 29 May 2024, but it has also put together its Human Rights Manifesto focusing on 10 issues crucial for political parties and candidates to commit to, to ensure that the rights of all those who live in South Africa are upheld.

“Human rights are universal principles that transcend politics and offer a roadmap to a better future. In order for these human rights to be realised, the electorate can use their power at the ballot to ensure that political parties and candidates standing for office do their part to ensure that the government meets its human rights obligations domestically, uses its influence to advance human rights globally, and engages other governments to do the same. What is needed is political will and a commitment to making human rights a reality, here at home and around the world,” Shenilla Mohamed said. 

“Whoever becomes the next governing party must uphold South Africa’s Constitution and international human rights obligations. Amnesty International has continuously called on the state to effectively address human rights violations and access to basic services for all living in South Africa. The incoming administration, no matter who it is, needs to prioritise human rights and address the need for basic services.”

The manifesto was sent to political parties and independent candidates along with a request for them to sign a pledge outlining their commitment to upholding human rights if elected. To date four political parties and one independent candidate have signed the pledge. 

“It is disappointing that not more political parties and candidates signed the pledge. Those who are voted into power after these elections must serve the people, stop the politicking and deliver on human rights obligations,” Shenilla Mohamed said. 

While we are calling on political parties to sign the pledge, we are also calling on citizens, who are eligible and are registered to vote, to take a pledge to vote for human rights and to hold political parties and candidates accountable ahead, during and after the elections. Close to 10,000 people have taken the pledge. 

“This year we have the opportunity to collectively shape the future of South Africa. To demand a reality where justice and equality are protected, where the right to life is safeguarded and where everyone has access to basic services,” Shenilla Mohamed said.


South Africa is holding its seventh election on 29 May 2024. The country is also celebrating 30 years since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Amnesty International is non-partisan and does not endorse any political party or candidate. Our aim is to inspire people to make informed decisions based on the state of human rights in South Africa, and to vote with purpose.

You will find the pledge and the political party tracker, as well as voter resources, on the campaign page here


For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Genevieve Quintal, Media and Communications Officer, Amnesty International South Africa: +27 (0) 64 890 9224;