An Election Commission worker tears a ballot paper at a voting station during local municipal elections. Picture: EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND
An Election Commission worker tears a ballot paper at a voting station during local municipal elections. Picture: EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND

Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) vice-chair Terry Tselane is leaving office on Friday as three new commissioners join the organisation on Monday.

Tselane, after 18 years at the IEC, told Business Day that he was informed on Tuesday that his last day would be on Friday and not at the end of November, as he had anticipated.

The IEC had three vacancies for commissioners, implying that the key 2019 election will be the first national poll run by an almost entirely inexperienced team of commissioners.

The outgoing vice-chair said it was his understanding that President Cyril Ramaphosa had ratified the three names put forward by parliament, which include controversial former chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya.

This presidency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The other two candidates are judge Dhayanithie Pillay and Dr Nomsa Praisy Masuku.

They are replacing Tselane and Bongani Finca, whose terms end in November, and judge Thami Makhanya, whose term expired in April.

In August, Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs adopted the three names to be recommended to the National Assembly for the vacancies on the IEC.

Moepya was seen as a controversial choice following former public protector Thuli Madonsela's recommendation that he face disciplinary action for failing to provide her with crucial information during her 2013 investigation of a suspect lease deal for the procurement of the IEC headquarters. That resulted in the departure of then chair Pansy Tlakula.

But during his panel interview in July for the vacancy of IEC commissioner, Moepya protested his innocence and decried the way he had been treated. He told the panel that he believed he was treated unfairly during the process and denied that he had done anything wrong.

Moepya was one of eight people that the panel, headed by chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, recommended to parliament.

Tselane said that after almost 20 years at the IEC, he had "no regrets", and that he was moving on to a new beginning.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za 

marriann@businesslive.co.za

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