Series S-1939 - Electoral Division

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Electoral Division


  • 1974 - 1994 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

No. of Boxes: 56

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S-1939 contains the records of the Electoral Division of the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA). The Electoral Division was established following the expansion of UNOMSA’s mandate through UN Security Council Resolution 894, adopted on 14 January 1994, to include international observation of South Africa’s election, held on 27 April 1994. The records in S-1939 contain correspondence, memoranda, faxes and reports documenting the work of UNOMSA staff and electoral observers.

Under the expanded mandate, the Electoral Division was responsible for observing the actions of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC); noting the ability of South African political parties to campaign freely; verifying that qualified voters were not denied identification documents or temporary voter cards (TVCs); and ensuring that voting stations were free of intimidation. Any violations observed were reported to the IEC. The Electoral Division consisted of four sections dedicated to carrying out specific parts of the mandate: Voter Education Section, Operations Analysis Section, Adjudication Section, and the Public Information/Media Analysis Section.

S-1939 contains the records of Reginald H. F. Austin, Director of the Electoral Division. These files were maintained at UNOMSA headquarters in Johannesburg by Austin and Michael Maley, Deputy Director and document the work of the different sections of the Electoral Division, as well as other divisions within UNOMSA, including the Peace Promotion Division (PPD) and the Joint Operations Unit (JOU). These records consist of correspondence and memoranda from Electoral Division section chiefs; policy documents; and reports on electoral observations and security situations. Observation reports were initially produced by electoral observers deployed to each of the nine provinces and distributed through the hierarchy of UNOMSA: first to team leaders, then to Provincial Coordinators and Area Coordinators before being sent to headquarters, where they were delivered to the Director and Deputy Director and distributed among the sections of the Electoral Division.

Records in S-1939 also document the work of the Adjudication Section and Public Information/Media Analysis Section. The Adjudication Section was tasked with observing how the IEC handled violations of the Independent Electoral Commission Act, which mandated free and fair elections, while the Public Information/Media Analysis Section was responsible for monitoring major national, regional and local press and weekly and monthly magazines. The records consist of case reports on violations that were sent to the IEC; daily press analysis reports; and weekly reports of the sections’ activities and sent to Austin at UNOMSA headquarters.

Austin’s records also include subject files containing correspondence and memoranda, meeting minutes and agendas, press releases, faxes, and reports concerning International Electoral Observers (IEOs), diplomatic observer missions, and South African political parties, including the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Party (DP) and the Inthanka Freedom Party (IFP). These records also contain the IEO manual and information kit. Other files contain reference materials maintained by the Electoral Division, including press articles from South African newspapers, reports and studies on South Africa, and drafts of bills and legislation.

S-1939 also contains records created and maintained by the Voter Education Section and Operations Analysis Section of the Electoral Division, based at UNOMSA headquarters in Johannesburg. The records of the Voter Education Section, headed by Tatiana Androsov, contain meeting summaries, correspondence, and weekly and special reports by IEOs observing voter education initiatives of the IEC and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the various provinces. The records also contain the “African National Congress (ANC) Election Monitoring Manual.”

The Operations Analysis Section was responsible for the creation of electoral policy documentation, development of operational forms and reports, and analysis of IEC activities. The records consist of operational circulars, correspondence and memoranda, and handbooks and manuals issued by the IEC. These files also include daily and weekly reports, lists of voting stations, reports on voting stations preparedness, and fortnightly reports on the issuance of TVCs which were sent to Robert Drew, Chief of the Operations Analysis Section, from Provincial and Area Coordinators. Many records contain annotations, highlighting, and comments from UNOMSA staff of these sections.

The Electoral Division worked closely with the PPD to coordinate electoral observers stationed in the field. S-1939 contains records originating from the nine provincial offices of UNOMSA in Eastern Cape; Eastern Transvaal; KwaZulu-Natal; Northern Cape; Northern Transvaal; North West Province; Orange Free State; Pretoria, Witwatersrand and Vaal (PWV); and Western Cape. Each province was overseen by a Provincial Coordinator of the PPD who reported on peace promotion and electoral observations to an Area Coordinator responsible for multiple provinces. The records include administrative memoranda, daily observer reports, weekly reports, and voter observation forms. A majority of records are from the Northern Cape and contain operational circulars, press articles, and reports from observer teams in the province, as well as records of Sliman Bouchuiguir, Provincial Coordinator and Khalid Zaied, Deputy Provincial Coordinator.

The records in S-1939 also document the work of NGO Liaison Officer Raymonde Martineau who was responsible for coordinating and maintaining relations with domestic and foreign NGOs. Also included are correspondence and reports related to the deployment of NGOs; coordination with the National Electoral Observer Network (NEON); and reference material on South African political parties and the National Peace Accord.

S-1939 also contains records of the Joint Operations Unit (JOU) which was established in February 1994 as a joint centre for day to day coordination of efforts of the four Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs) in observing the elections in South Africa. The four IGOs consisted of representatives from the United Nations Mission Observers (UNMOs); European Union (European Union Election Unit to South Africa, EUNELSA); Organisation of African Unity (Organisation of African Unity Observer Mission in South Africa, OAU-OMSA); and the Commonwealth of Nations (Commonwealth Observer Mission to South Africa, COMSA), that worked together in March and April 1994. The records contain outgoing faxes which document daily responsibilities including the preparation and planning for the final deployment of additional observers and logistics related to transportation, communications, conference facilities and accommodations. The records also contain forms completed by observer teams, following visits to voting stations; organization of the arrival and deployment of IEOs prior to the elections; induction, training and briefing sessions in the Johannesburg area to acquaint observers with the electoral system of South Africa and with their roles in the elections; transportation to provinces where they were given further briefings on local conditions; and schedules of their departure.

S-1939 also contains the records of Jorge Espinal, Provincial Logistics Officer in Klerksdorp, North West Province. In each of the nine provinces, an UNOMSA Electoral Observer was appointed as a Provincial Logistics Officer (PLO) to serve as a JOU focal point and liaise directly with the JOU Headquarters in Johannesburg. The PLO worked closely with the Provincial Coordinator in each province to obtain and compile information relevant to the deployment of IEOs; liaise at the provincial level with the other IGOs represented in the JOU; and help coordinate the work of the United Nations Volunteers’ (UNV) Observation Support Officers. The records document the daily activities of Espinal through memoranda and reports contained in outgoing and incoming faxes. The records also include maps that were used by the JOU to assist in the logistics of and planning for the election.

Processing Archivists: Virginia Pastor, Corinne O’Connor
Volume: 56 boxes

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  • Afrikaans, English, French

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DAG-013, 1995/0069, 1995/0075, 1995/0082, 1995/0135, 1995/0210, 1995/0212, 1995/0214, 1995/0215, 1995/0219, 1995/0220, 1995/0222

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