South African judge to chair
poll review team
March 3, 2008
By Ben Agina
Former head of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission,
Judge Christiaan Kriegler, is to chair the Independent Review
Committee that will investigate the 2007 General Election, The
Standard has learnt.
The committee, which commences its sittings on March 15, will
investigate all aspects of the presidential election and make
findings and recommendations to improve future electoral processes.
Kriegler, 76, headed South Africa’s Independent Electoral
Commission, which ran the country’s first democratic elections in
1994, and was instrumental in establishing the permanent electoral
commission, which he chaired until 1999.
The committee will be a non-judicial body made up of recognised
Kenyan and non-Kenyan electoral experts, who have the highest
professional standing and personal integrity.
The Independent Review Committee was established following
approval by the two negotiating teams during the mediation talks.
During discussion on Agenda Three, the parties explored the
options of presidential vote re-tallying, recounting and immediate
However, both teams concluded that the only viable solution to the
crisis was a political settlement.
ODM had, during the deliberations at Serena Hotel, proposed the
formation of an independent review committee on the disputed
presidential elections, strengthening the independence of
Parliament and the reconstitution of ECK.
The ODM Party leader, Mr Raila Odinga, has already forwarded names
of his representatives to the Committee. They are Mrs Catherine
Muyeka Mumma and Mr Francis Angila Aywa.
The committee will submit its report within three to six months,
following which it will be made public within 14 days.
Kriegler practiced as an advocate in Johannesburg for 25 years
before he became a provincial and thereafter appellate judge. He
was appointed a judge of the Constitutional Court on its formation
After leaving that court he held a two-year acting judicial
appointment chiefly engaged in judicial education and the training
of public prosecutors and practicing advocates.