We bring to you what has been brewing at MVC and in political and electoral spaces more broadly in the last few months. Please share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues. 

What's new...


On 21 June 2018 and after years of campaigning, the Constitutional Court handed down its judgement ruling that the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) is inconsistent with the Constitution as it does not allow for the access to private funding information of political parties and independent candidates. Although this is a victory for My Vote Counts and the incredible efforts put in over the years, it is also certainly a win for South Africa’s democracy and the South African electorate. We are now closer to greater transparency in our political and electoral spaces.

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Another major milestone for MVC was the adoption of the Political Party Funding Bill in Parliament. In March, the Bill was adopted in the National Assembly (NA) before being sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The process in the NA debate was a heated one but nonetheless, the majority of political parties sided with South African citizens and adopted the Bill. The NCOP process proceeded and on 27 June, the Ad Hoc committee adopted the Bill with no amendments. Next the Political Party Funding Bill will be sent to the President to be signed into law. 

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MVC in partnership with the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution are monitoring the appointment process of the new IEC commissioners. There are three vacancies at the Electoral Commission. On 25 and 26 June, the high-level panel led by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng interviewed 23 shortlisted candidates and have now narrowed it down to eight names. These eight candidates will be forwarded to Parliament's Portfolio Committee of Home Affairs for consideration where the committee will recommend three candidates to the President. 

MVC compiled a report highlighting some concerns we found in some of the candidates ranging from political affiliations to business dealings. 
You can view our concerns here

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Youth elections workshop 

On 7 July, MVC will host a workshop as part of the iCreate event in King William's Town at the King William's Town Botanical Gardens. The workshop will highlight the importance of youth participation in the electoral process and to get feedback from the youth in attendance about any impediments that prevent them from doing so. We have invited an IEC representative to attend the workshop and to speak about the IEC and youth participation in elections.

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In the news...

Patrica De Lille vs Democratic Alliance

In what is developing into a very public challenge to the Democratic Alliance’s internal procedures and policies and a test on the relationship between political leaders and the political parties they belong to, embattled Cape Town mayor has yet to find out whether or not she violated the party's Constitution. She also is waiting to find out what corruption charges she allegedly faces. She has won her Western Cape High Court battle in which the court ruled that the termination of her party membership as unlawful. The DA was ordered to pay her legal costs which De Lille claims to be over R1 million. For the latest developments on this story, click here.  

PAIA ruled inconsistent with the Constitution

With the adoption of the Political Party Funding Bill and the handing down of the PAIA judgement relating to the disclosure of party funding, we are heading in the right direction when it comes to transparency.
Read here for what it means to South Africans.

Independent candidates in Tunisia claim victory in 2018 municipal elections 

Seven years after the Tunisian Revolution, independent candidates have gained significant ground in this year’s municipal elections. With around 32.2% of the votes, it is clear that great change is still happening in the North African country. For more on this story, click this link.

Mexico Elections 2018

Andrés Manuel López Obrador claimed victory in the 2018 Mexican presidential elections. The left-wing candidate, who started his political career centre-right, is a former Mexico City mayor. He vowed to combat the country’s record-breaking violence by meeting his security team daily. He has also recently been most critical of US president, Donald Trump saying he’ll help Trump “see reason”.
Read more about Mexico’s president-elect here.

The Staff Corner...with Janine Ogle

1) What does the National Co-ordinator’s role entail?
I am responsible for the everyday running of the organisation and report to the MVC Board. Because MVC is a small organisation, I have to be the ‘jack of many trades’. I am responsible for engaging with all of the organisations stakeholders, writing proposals and reporting to donors, conceptualising and introducing new projects, managing staff and managing the organisations financial systems. 

2) Did you choose the life of advocacy or did it choose you? 
I have always enjoyed research but I am very uncomfortable with doing research for research’s sake. I feel that producing research that will just be published and read by a few interested parties is not enough. I believe that research should have an actionable component so I have found myself for the past 10 years being involved in advocacy projects that are the product of a research project. I have been fortunate that my personal interests and my professional trajectory have aligned.

3) After a rough day or week of work, how do you best unwind?
I only unwind on weekends. Usually it's by waking up late and finding ways to annoy my children because I find their responses hilarious. When my kids are then really sick of me, I binge watch series alone. 

4) If you were stranded on an island and allowed 3 things, what would you take along?
I am not someone who gets attached to things. I could leave everything behind if my children are with me, so I would take them with me.

5) What are you reading or listening to at the moment? 
I listen to all types of music, but mostly hip hop,  Zonke’s new album and a bit of Fleetwood Mac. I usually read fiction but I am currently reading Thula Simpson’s Umkhonto we Sizwe: The ANC’s Armed Struggle. While reading this book I have realised that there are a number of people, who’s names we don’t know who played a part in bringing about a democratic South Africa. This is both incredible and sad. It also reminds me of why I prefer to read fiction, I'd rather read stories that were made in someone’s imagination rather than to read of the difficulty and brutality that some people have lived through.
One for the books...

About: A pulsating insider account by former senior state official and local government “fixer” Crispian Olver. After being tasked by then minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Pravin Gordhan, he uncovers severe factionalism and deep-rooted corruption that rocked the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan. If you want a real example of what the interplay between money, our politicians and political parties looks like, this is the case study to read.

Our take: Written like a real-life thriller, this will not only keep you entertained but also provide clarity and insight into the web of lies and corruption that led to the ruling party’s loss of control in it’s traditional heartland. 
My Vote Counts NPC is a non-profit company founded to improve the accountability, transparency and inclusiveness of elections and politics in the Republic of South Africa. We work to ensure that the political and electoral systems are open, fair and accountable to the public and that they remain relevant in the changing South African socio-political context.
Copyright © 2018 My Vote Counts, All rights reserved.

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