ATT: Office of the Chief Justice
The South African Judiciary
RE: MY VOTE COUNTS AND THE COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONSTITUTION REQUESTS EXTENSION TO THE DEADLINE ON THE NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR APPOINMENT TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Dear Acting Chief Justice Zondo
- We have noted that the term of Glen Mashinini, the current Chair of the Electoral Commission (“IEC”), will end on 16 April 2022.
- We further note that the Office of the Chief Justice, in a Government Gazette and print newspaper advert, called for ‘Nominations of Candidates for Appointment to the Electoral Commission’ on 4 and 6 February respectively, with a 2-week deadline.
- We strongly believe that the call was not sufficiently accessible to the public. There has been no media statement nor social media communique from your office and the IEC. Thus, there has been almost no coverage of the nomination process in the media; from what we can tell there was just a single article published in the Daily Maverick.
- In this context, we would like to request an extension to the deadline so that we can publicize this call and thereby give opportunity for the public to engage with it and partake in the process. We would also encourage your office to do the same.
- The IEC is one of the most important institutions of our democracy. Thus, it is critical that the people appointed to serve in the IEC are competent and impartial. It is also important that any appointment processes are well advertised, are open and transparent so that the public can monitor and engage the appointments to protect the independence of the IEC.
- There was openness and transparency for the equivalent process in 2018. This time, however, the process is much less open.
- As the body overseeing this process, we believe that the Office of the Chief Justice needs to do more to ensure openness and transparency in the process.
- We ask for a deadline extension of the invitation for the nominations for a period of 2 weeks and we would appreciate a response from your office before the current deadline of 18 February.
- We look forward to hearing from you.