President Jacob Zuma has today Friday April 22 appointed Ms Janet Love as a member of the Electoral Commission (IEC) replacing Raenette Taljaard who resigned in February last year.
In its recently released statement, the presidency said the Electoral Commission consists of five members appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Assembly and that Ms Love will be filling the vacancy left more than a year ago.
Taljaard who was formerly a DA MP and a rising star in the party, resigned during Tony Leon’s tenure as leader of the party, citing lack of transformation as an issue.
Her resignation in February 2015 made news as it came in the same week that Parliament moved to fill a vacancy stemming from the controversial exit of former chairwoman Pansy Tlakula.
She is not just the Director of the Helen Suzman Foundation but also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Political Studies Department of the University of Cape Town where she teaches Public Policy.
On the other hand, Janet Love was a former anti-apartheid activist and ANC MP, she was involved in Codesa, the negotiations which ended white minority rule and brought about the first democratic elections in South Africa.
She is also a part-time commissioner with the South African Human Rights Commission and is the national director of the Legal Resource Centre, the non-profit public interest law clinic.
She is the only woman on the five-member commission and her nomination to the IEC received unanimous backing from the political parties represented in Parliament.
Being a white female, Love fits the candidate required in terms of race and gender as the four current IEC commissioners were all black men. This will also be in line with the constitution which states that the chapter nine institution needed to “reflect broadly the race and gender composition of South Africa”.
However, love’s appointment is likely to cause a little tension. In 2010, Love got herself in a war of words with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille who attacked her history as a former member of the ANC’s national executive committee when she was appointed to the South African Human Rights Commission‚ saying it amounted to cadre deployment.
Love was selected yesterday from a shortlist of eight candidates made up mostly of women, and President Zuma wishes Ms Love all the best in her new responsibility.”