The Electoral Commission

‘One man one vote’ is political freedom in its purest form, perhaps, but democracy in Africa has a chequered history. The recent past has recorded numerous examples, throughout the continent, of elections being anything but free and fair, with voter intimidation ranging from the subtle to extremely violent.

Fortunately, in the Republic, the Electoral Commission Act 1996 established the Electoral Commission in order for it to manage national, provincial and local elections. Its objects are to strengthen constitutional democracy and promote democratic electoral processes. The Act also provides for the registration of political parties, and the establishment of the Electoral Court. Long live democracy!

  1. It is a criminal offence to hinder or obstruct the Commission or the Chief Electoral Officer in their official business.1

  2. It is an offence to interrupt or misbehave during any meeting of the Commission.2

  3. It is an offence to interrupt or misbehave during the proceedings of the Electoral Court.3

  4. It is a crime to do anything intended or likely to influence the Commission or the Electoral Court, in an improper way, in connection with any matter which is to be considered by them.4

  1. Section 21(1)(a). 

  2. Section 21(1)(b). 

  3. Section 21(1)(b). 

  4. Section 21(1)(c).