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A citizen's perspective
Dullah Omar Institute Seminar

"A citizen's perspective on the rule of law: Democracy and elections in South Africa" - this was the theme of a hybrid seminar hosted by the Dullah Omar Institute at the University of the Western Cape. It brought together local and international panelists and a diverse audience.

Panel: Great speakers Prof Henk Kummeling, Michael Hendrickse and Prof Cherrel Africa

Great speakers Prof Henk Kummeling, Michael Hendrickse and Prof Cherrel Africa


"The relationship between state institutions and citizens is under strain. Much has been written and said about ‘democratic backsliding’, the rise of populism, the tyranny of majorities, voter apathy, and other worrisome trends. Citizen confidence in democratic processes and the rule of law is declining globally and in Africa. At the same time, more than a third of the continent's countries, including South Africa, will hold national elections in 2024." (Invitation text, introduction)

The seminar examined the implications of the trends mentioned above, with engaging local and international panelists:

* Prof Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus, Distinguished University Professor Utrecht University, Chairperson State Commission on the Rule of Law, Netherlands

* Prof Cherrel Africa, Associate Professor, Department for Political Studies, University of the Western Cape (UWC)

* Michael Hendrickse, Western Cape Provincial Electoral Officer, Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC)

Facilitated by Prof Jaap de Visser, National Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Development, Dullah Omar Institute (DOI), the speakers also engaged with an active audience to discuss their informative analysis on election participation, voter motivation and electoral law, and the urgent need for civic education.

Global developments were explored, together with South African realities.


A documentation of the seminar and its discussions was drafted and made available by the Dullah Omar Institute - find it here:

A citizen's perspective on the rule of law: democracy and elections in South Africa


You can watch a recording of the event here:

Seminar Recording







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