Janet Love seen in a file photo from September 2016. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ SOWETAN/ VELI NHLAPO
Janet Love seen in a file photo from September 2016. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ SOWETAN/ VELI NHLAPO

President Cyril Ramaphosa has designated Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) sitting commissioner Janet Love to replace Terry Tselane as second in charge at commission.

Tselane as well as former commissioner Ben Finca left the IEC after two decades last week. Love, a former anti-apartheid activist who served on the transitional executive committee that helped prepare for the first democratic election in 1994, was appointed to the post of commissioner shortly before the 2016 local government election.

She was an ANC MP between 1994 and 1999 and formed part of the body responsible for creating the country’s constitution. 

IEC chair Glen Mashinini announced on Wednesday that Ramaphosa had made three commissioner appointments to the IEC and one designation. 

Love was designated to replace Tselane and Mosotho Moepya, judge Dhayanithie Pillay and Dr Nomsa Praisy Masuku were appointed as new commissioners.

Moving to allay fears of a lack of experience at the helm of the electoral body, Mashinini said the three new commissioners brought nearly 30 years of election experience both locally and internationally. 

“We could not have asked for a more complementary and respected group of commissioners … to hit the ground running in preparing for the 2019 national and provincial elections,” he said. 

He told journalists that the 2019 election is likely to take place in May, between May 7 and the end of the month — as Ramaphosa had announced earlier this year. 

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.