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Elections 2014: LSSA Observation

LSSA 2014 Election Observation: National and Provincial Elections: 7 May 2014

30 May 2014: The LSSA has submitted its election observation report to the Electoral Commission.
Download the report. (PDF - 700KB)
Download the LSSA Elections Manifesto (PDF - 120 KB)

7 May 2014: LSSA Co-Chairperson Max Boqwana, right, and LSSA CEO Nic Swart at the IEC National Elections Results Centre to monitor the final results as they come in after the close of the polls for the 2014 National and Provincial Elections. The LSSA also had 275 attorney and candidate attorney observers observing the elections throughout the day. A report covering their observations will be drafted and submitted to the IEC before the end of May 2014.

30 April 2014: The LSSA has dispatched observer gear to its 275 observers across the country. They will wear election observer vests, LSSA observer lanyards and tags and the IEC election observer tag to identify them as official LSSA election observers. Attorneys and candidate attorneys have been accredited to observe the elections. LSSA Co-Chairperson Max Boqwana will be at the IEC National Results Operations Centre in Pretoria on election day.

24 April 2014: LSSA launches its election observation mission: Read the press release by the Co-Chairpersons. (PDF - 29KB)
BLA President Busani Mabunda, LSSA Co-Chairpersons Max Boqwana and Ettienne Barnard and LSSA CEO Nic Swart at the launch of the LSSA Election Observation Mission on 24 April 2014.

The LSSA has been accredited by the Electoral Commission as a observer to the 7 May 2014 National and Provincial Elections. Attorneys and candidate attorneys have been registered and trained as observers. LSSA observers will observe the election and vote counting processes and procedures at their local and other voting stations, as well as at the IEC National Results Centre in Pretoria. They will submit reports to the LSSA.

The training materials and instructor costs to train observers have been sponsored by LexisNexis.

The LSSA will compile a report and submit its observers' findings to the Electorial Commission.

Letter to the LSSA from the IEC. (PDF - 152KB)



  1. The Law Society of South (LSSA) recognises
    a) a main cornerstone of a democracy to be the ability of citizens to choose an individual to hold public office;
    b) elections are the usual mechanism by which modern democracies operate;
    c) the authority of the government can derive only from the will of the people as expressed in genuine, free and fair elections;
    d) the role of its members as pivotal in protecting and strengthening the legal system which underpins our constitutional democracy.
  2. It is in the spirit of the rule of law and free and fair elections that the LSSA further recognises
    a) the governing Electoral Act 73 of 1998;
    b) the role of the Electoral Commission in ensuring electoral democracy, and free and fair elections;
    c) the values of the Electoral Commission which promote impartiality, integrity, accountability, transparency, and participation throughout the election process.

  3. The Republic of South Africa is one, sovereign, democratic State founded on the following values:
    a) Supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law.
    b) Universal adult suffrage, a national common voters’ roll, regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government, to ensure accountability, responsiveness and openness.
  4. It is in the spirit of our founding values that LSSA has decided to support our national and provincial elections on 7 May 2014.
    Supporting Twenty Years of Democracy

  5. The LSSA was founded in 1998 and was established to serve the interests of the attorneys’ profession and the members of the public whom the profession serves. It brings together the Black Lawyers Association, National Association of Democratic Lawyers, the Cape Law Society, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, the Law Society of the Free State and the Law Society of the Northern Provinces. The LSSA is an important stakeholder in the justice system of the Republic, and as such has committed itself to
    a) providing, where it deems it appropriate to do so, voluntary services in the interest of the public;
    b) upholding, safeguarding and advancing the rule of law, the administration of justice, the Constitution, and the laws of the Republic;
    c) striving towards the achievement of a system of law that is fair, just, equitable, certain and free from unfair discrimination.

  6. The LSSA has, therefore, resolved to deploy attorneys to voting stations and counting stations to observe the elections.
  7. The LSSA is in a unique position to deploy trained lawyers on the ground on election day. These lawyers will serve as the eyes and ears of our citizens.
  8. The LSSA, through this observer mission, intends to achieve the following:
    a) Place highly trained observers in voting stations.
    b) Place trained lawyers in counting stations.
    c) Ensure the presence of independent lawyers in the results centre.
    d) Provide support for our Electoral Commission.
    e) Support and strengthen the integrity of the elections process.
    f) Assess the electoral process, with a particular emphasis on compliance with regulations, laws, procedures and codes of conduct.
    g) Evaluate participation of our people and their understanding of the process.
    h) Ensure that the elections are free and fair.

  9. The LSSA will train attorneys who volunteered to be observers. Such training will be provided by internationally experienced elections’ technicians.
  10. The training will take place in six provinces and will train attorneys to be effective observers.
  11. The LSSA will provide these attorneys with the equipment necessary to carry out their functions. The attorneys will be visible to members of the public.
  12. The LSSA will be accredited as an observer by the Electoral Commission.
  13. Attorneys will carry out observation at voting stations and counting stations and LSSA members will be present at the results centre in Pretoria.
  14. A report will be compiled and presented to the Electoral Commission and will be made available to members of the public.
    Credible elections are an expression of active citizenship and the free expression of the free will of the people, which provides the basis for the authority and legitimacy of a sitting government. The rights of citizens to vote and to be elected at periodic, credible democratic elections are recognised human rights and a founding provision of our Constitution.

Download the LSSA Elections Manifesto (PDF - 120KB)