Statement by President Nelson Mandela on resignation of the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission

26 January 1999

It was with great regret that I accepted the resignation today of Judge Johann Kriegler as commissioner and as chairperson of the IEC. His resignation will take effect from 1 February 1999. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for the service he has given to the nation in filling this challenging post at a critical time for South African democracy.

The IEC will be releasing a statement on this matter.

I consulted with the Deputy President and the Minister of Home Affairs before accepting this resignation, and they are in agreement with my course of action. I have also kept the political parties informed.

The processes for replacing Judge Kriegler as chairperson and commissioner are under way, and will be completed without delay. In the meantime I have the greatest confidence in the capacity of the Vice-Chair, Ms. Brigalia Bam, to steer the IEC as Acting Chairperson.

Government re-iterates its commitment to the independence of the IEC. We have always conducted ourselves in such a way that that independence and integrity is maintained. The relationship between our government and the IEC is in accordance with the best practice in the democratic world.

I would like to express my appreciation of the work which the IEC has done as it opens uncharted territory in preparing the nation for its second democratic election. What it has done so far in registering close to 10 million people is a great achievement. I have no doubt that with continuing support from the public it is keeping us on track for a successful election with the broadest possible participation.

Everything is in place for this week's registration. I once more appeal to those who have not yet registered for the election to do so on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Issued by the Office of the President

Source: South African Government Information Website