Clarification: Request from Former Vice Chairperson Mr Terry Tselane
It is not the usual practice of the Electoral Commission to deal with matters relating to Commissioners and employees via the media.
However, the deliberate omission and ambiguity about a request made by former Vice Chairperson of the Commission Mr Terry Tselane has regrettably created a false impression which the Commission needs to correct.
The Electoral Commission received a request from Mr Tselane on 27 May 2019 for a letter of support for his personal application for the post of Secretary-General of the Association of World Election Bodies (AWEB), an international association of electoral management bodies of which the Electoral Commission is a member.
The position of Secretary-General has been advertised since the beginning of March 2019 and Mr Tselane had never discussed the position or his intention to apply with the Electoral Commission prior to his letter of 27 May 2019.
The requirements for applications, as spelt out in Article 18 of the AWEB constitution, require letters of support from at least two members of the AWEB Executive Board. The Electoral Commission is currently not a member of this Board. A letter from the Commission is therefore not a requirement, a fact which Mr Tselane himself acknowledged.
As a Constitutional office-bearer, Mr Tselane was not an employee of the Electoral Commission. The authority that appoints Commissioners is the President of Republic of South Africa on the recommendation of Parliament.
The Commission wishes to emphasise that the request from Mr Tselane was not primarily for a letter confirming his employment at the Commission and confirmation of his subsequent tenure as a Commissioner. This could easily have been obtained from the Human Resources Department of the Electoral Commission – something which Mr Tselane is well-aware of.
In acknowledging the decision by the Electoral Commission to refer Mr Tselane to the Office of the President, Mr Tselane indicated that he understood the position of the Electoral Commission and appeared to regard the matter as closed.