In this interview, Reverend Gift Moerane shares his experiences serving on the South African Electoral Commission’s Conflict Management Mediation Panels since 1999. He describes the conflicts that plagued the pre-election period in 1999, including the contestation of control of areas by various political parties, or “no-go” zones. He discusses the role that political party loyalties played in causing electoral disorder, and the effects of apartheid on these loyalties. Furthermore, he notes the role the police forces played in electoral mediation and talks about the relationship between mediation and policing. He explains the importance of the training and recruitment of mediators. Finally, he discusses the usage of the country’s electoral codes in deterring conflict escalation.
At the time of this interview, Reverend Gift Moerane was a member of the South African National Peace Accord, spokesperson for the South African Council of Churches. He served as a member of the Electoral Commission’s Conflict Management Mediation Panels since 1999. He was born in the Vaal Triangle in the Meyerton Township. He completed teacher training at the College of Education in Groblersdal. In 1984, after working as a clerk for the Meyerton municipality, he started working for the Council of Churches, assisting families of detainees and political prisoners.