Candidates for IEC positions grilled over voter addresses issue

IEC. File picture
IEC. File picture
Image: Thuli Dlamini

The issue of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) securing addresses for the voters role has been highlighted during interviews to fill vacancies coming up at the commission.

Shortlisted candidates were asked what they would have done differently to ensure that addresses of all voters were captured by the commission.

In 2016‚ the Constitutional Court held that the failure to compile a voters roll with available addresses was inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid‚ but the declaration of invalidity was suspended until June 30 2018.

The IEC has until the end of June to ensure it records outstanding addresses on the voters roll. The IEC‚ however‚ has lodged papers in the court asking for an extension.

A panel‚ led by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng‚ is spending the next three days interviewing candidates shortlisted for three vacancies at the commission.

The hotly contested 2019 elections are set to take place a few months after three of the required five commissioners are appointed‚ raising questions about experience.

The terms of Terry Tselane and Bongani Finca end in November 2018‚ while Judge Thami Makhanya’s term expired in April 2018.

The first candidate interviewed on Monday‚ Alan Campbell‚ told the panel that he believed institutions such as the post office‚ and in rural areas traditional leaders‚ should have been used to help collect addresses.

According to Campbell's CV he was involved in delivering electronic voting equipment throughout Africa and in California‚ US‚ in 2004 elections. He had also been appointed by the United Nations in a consultant capacity to help with elections in Pakistan in 2001.

Using his experience in Nigeria‚ Campbell told the panel that while there he worked on putting the country's voter roll together.

He said it was also possible to use technology and biometrics as well as GPS co-ordinates to find someone's location if they did not have an allocated address.

Questions were raised about Campbell's business relationship with current IEC chair Vuma Mashinini. However‚ he said the company they had started together had been deregistered and he had not had dealings with Mashinini for almost 10 years.

Finca‚ a current commissioner‚ was one of the people shortlisted and could find himself reappointed to the IEC. This would mean a continuity of expertise.

When asked during his interview about the address issue he confirmed that the IEC would not be able to meet the date set by the Constitutional Court and that it had filed for an extension but he could not go into details.

- BusinessLIVE

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