IEC: A

The Star Early Edition - - INSIDE -

TO­DAY marks a spe­cial day for the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion of South Africa – the 20th an­niver­sary of its found­ing.

On this day in 1997 our first demo­crat­i­cally elected pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela, ap­pointed the first com­mis­sion­ers fol­low­ing pub­lic nom­i­na­tions and an in­ter­view process pre­scribed by the con­sti­tu­tion.

The com­mis­sion­ers were Jus­tice Jo­hann Kriegler (chair­per­son), Dr Bri­galia Bam (vice-chair­per­son) and Thoko Mpuml­wana, Pro­fes­sor Her­bert Vi­lakazi and Fanie van der Merwe.

The com­mis­sion ap­pointed Pro­fes­sor Mandla Mchunu as chief elec­toral of­fi­cer to build the ad­min­is­tra­tion and lay the foun­da­tions of the or­gan­i­sa­tion we know and love to­day.

The task of cre­at­ing a per­ma­nent, pro­fes­sional elec­toral man­age­ment body was not easy and was made more chal­leng­ing by the loom­ing na­tional and pro­vin­cial elec­tions less than two years down the line. In a short space of time the IEC needed to build a na­tional com­mon vot­ers’ roll and put in place people, sys­tems, pro­cesses and poli­cies to de­liver a free, fair and cred­i­ble elec­tion in 1999. A year later it would be called upon to con­duct the first mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions.

To­day it takes us the best part of be­tween 18 months and two years to plan

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