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The Legacy of Brigalia Bam Preserved with a R93 000 Oil Painting at NMMU

Democracy - More Than Just ElectionsDr Brigalia Bam dedicated 12 years of her life as the head of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and during this time she played a definitive role in elevating the organisation’s reputation and stature.

Her appointment at the helm of the IEC in 1999 after the resignation of Judge Johan Kriegler came at a time of great pressure – months before the second democratic elections – and was met with much skepticism and criticism. Bam, however, proved the critics wrong and developed an organisation that was true to its promise of a free and fair election.

To read more about this dynamic woman and the inner workings of the IEC, read Bam’s autobiography Democracy – More Than Just Elections, in which she makes a case for electoral reform in post-apartheid South Africa.

To celebrate the role that Bam played in our democracy, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University commissioned an oil painting of her from South African artist Rina Badenhorst. The painting sold for $6 526 (about R93 000). Bam was the Chancellor of NMMU when it was still the University of Port Elizabeth and it is thus fitting that her history should be preserved in the halls of the institution.

View the painting and read more about the artist:

Rina Badenhorst considers herself as a colourist – no light, no colour. The relationships of colour form the backbone of my work and teaching. Over the decades I have developed from strong expressionism in colour to shades of colour, subtleties that translate light.

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