Benedict van der Ross

Commissioner, 1994 Elections
Independent Electoral Commission, South Africa
Focus Area(s): 
Elections
Critical Tasks: 
Election schedules
Poll worker management
Vote counting
Interviewers: 
Amy Mawson
Country of Reform: 
South Africa
Town/City: 
Johannesburg
Place (Building/Street): 
City Lodge Hotel
Country: 
South Africa
Date of Interview: 
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Abstract 
Ben van der Ross discusses his role as one of the 11 South African commissioners who served on the country’s Independent Electoral Commission in 1994. He traces the story of the election from the commission’s first meeting in December 1993 through to the election’s closing moments, when problems with vote-counting procedures threatened to derail the country’s transition to democracy. He outlines the many challenges the election commission faced including deep mistrust across the political board, a very tight time frame, continuing party negotiations over the electoral rules and the reluctance of one of the main parties to participate. Van der Ross highlights the vital role played by the commission’s chairman, Johann Kriegler.  He also discusses how the commission overcame logistical hurdles.  
 
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Full Interview: 
79MB
Ben van der Ross Interview
Profile: 
Ben van der Ross was working at a South African social development agency, the Independent Development Trust, when he was nominated to be a commissioner for South Africa’s first fully inclusive elections in 1994. After the elections, van der Ross pursued a career in the private sector.
Language: 
English
Nationality of Interviewee: 
South African
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Benedict van der Ross
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Keywords 
Kriegler
South Africa
vote counting
Staff Performance
results declaration
recruitment
polling supplies
monitoring
election schedules
Election Management Body
dispute resolution
communications