n Journal of African Elections - The IEC and the 2014 elections - a mark of institutional maturity?

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



South Africa's election management body, The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), faced an unprecedented situation in the run-up to the country's fifth elections. Its chairperson, Pansy Tlakula, was found to have behaved in a manner unbefitting an electoral commissioner. Her misconduct raised concerns about whether or not the IEC would manage the elections impartially. These concerns, together with the prescribed censure for conduct unbecoming of a commissioner, led to a clamour for her removal. The proximity of the elections, however, militated against the resolution of the saga, leading to Tlakula staying on to oversee the elections. This article looks at whether the imbroglio had an impact on the reputation of the IEC. To make this determination, the article draws on survey findings about the IEC's administration of the elections. Part of the spotlight falls on how the responsible institutions, particularly Parliament and the courts, handled the problem. The article employs an institutionalist theoretical framework to explain its conclusions.

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