Vice-Chairperson: Terry Tselane

Vice-Chairperson photo

Having served as a Commissioner for the Electoral Commission for almost 14 years and Vice Chairperson since 2011, Terry Tselane has established himself as one of the foremost leaders on democracy and electoral management.

His achievements include having delivered eight general elections (four national and provincial elections and four municipal government elections) and hundreds of by-elections - a record for an Electoral Commissioner in South Africa.

Mr Tselane joined the Electoral Commission in 1998 and established IEC provincial office in Gauteng, South Africa’s economic hub where the province recorded the highest number of registered voters in the country. He was appointed a Commissioner in 2004 and was appointed Vice Chairperson in 2011 for a seven year term. He also acted as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission for over a year.

His long career in election management has not been limited to South Africa and Terry helped to establish the Association of World Election Management Bodies (A-WEB) as well as the Commonwealth Electoral Network (CEN). He currently serves on the Executive Board of A-WEB and has also served in the Executive Committee of Commonwealth Electoral Network. Terry further played an instrumental role in the re-establishment of the Association of Africa Electoral Management Bodies (AAEEA). He also served as the President of the Electoral Commission Forum (ECF) of SADC countries. Over his career Terry has been a member of many election observation missions in Africa and beyond. His most recent mission was in The Gambia where he led the African Union Observer Mission in 2017. He has presented numerous papers and speeches on aspects of electoral management and democracy throughout the world.

Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Terry was the Chief Executive Officer of Gauteng Tourism from 2002 to 2006. While at the Gauteng tourism authority he transformed Gauteng into a world-class tourism destination, surpassing all destinations in South Africa in terms of tourism arrivals. He was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Gauteng Film Commission in 2006, which he then established as one of the most well respected film commissions in the world.

Terry’s leadership skills were recognised during the struggle years as a student activist. He served in various organisations such as President of the Black Students Society at the University of the Witwatersrand, Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the Convocation, and later as a member of the Council of the University of the Witwatersrand. Barely a decade after the 1976 Soweto Uprising and with apartheid ravaging political organisations through repressive statutes and detentions without trial, this was not a role for the feint-hearted and Terry was, alongside many of his peers, expelled at the University of Bophuthatswana (now University of North West) in terms of the Internal Security Act. He further served time in prison after he was arrested in terms of state of emergency regulations.