Parliament asks for public's input into 8 candidates for 3 IEC vacancies

With next year's general elections under a year away, the portfolio committee on home affairs has asked the public to give input into eight recommended candidates to fill three vacant IEC commissioner positions.

The committee met on Tuesday to discuss the list of eight names sent to it by the Office of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng following a shortlisting process in July.

The names are: former chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya, current commissioner Bongani Finca, whose term ends in November, attorney Maletlatsa Ledingwane; Nomonde Mapetla; academic Nomsa Masuku; Bernedette Muthien; Liepollo Lebohang Watseba Pheko; and Judge Dhayanithie Pillay of the University of Pretoria.

READ: Voters have another opportunity to hold politicians to account in 2019 – IEC

Three candidates must be appointed to the five-person commissioner team at the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) before December.

Deliberation was pushed back on Tuesday however as it seemed the ANC members were not ready to proceed, and needed more information and time on the candidates.

'When ANC is not ready, it affects all of us'

ANC MP Donald Gumede said the committee needed to "maximise consensus" on the issue.

Opposition parties were critical of the ANC MPs present.

"The fact of the matter is that the ANC is not ready. Last week, we spoke about this matter, and we clarified it, and I fail to understand why you call us just to adjourn the meeting," EFF MP Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi said.

"When ANC is not ready, it affects all of us."

Nonetheless, MPs agreed that input from the public would be helpful.

Submissions 

Committee chairperson Hlomani Chauke said it was prudent to allow members of the public to make inputs that might influence the committee's recommendations.

"The IEC is at the centre of South Africa's democratic dispensation and it is only logical to include South Africans, so their voices are heard," Chauke said in a statement afterwards.

Any individual or organisation has until Friday, August 24, to make such a submission to emathonsi@parliament.gov.za.

The committee will meet again next week to consider the inputs and finalise their recommendations.

Once the committee recommends three names, the names will be sent to the National Assembly in a report.

If adopted, the three names will be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for appointment before December.