The Geneva office of EMPSA, responsible for recruiting, screening and selecting international monitors for the purposes of the programme, could then forward names to EMPSA South Africa for a final decision and endorsement. In practice, given the urgency of the situation, much of the liaison took place directly between international partners (church bodies; non-governmental organisations) and EMPSA South Africa.
Correspondence, lists, profiles on monitors and application forms resulted from this 'recruitment drive' and they are included in the collection.
The Johannesburg based EMPSA head office was responsible for coordinating the programme within South Africa. It provided the base from which monitors were deployed to various regions. Minutes, reports, correspondence, press statements and publications generated by this office are included.
Detailed reports, each with its own distinctive character, submitted by successive monitoring teams deployed in priority areas such as KwaZulu Natal, the Eastern Cape and the PWV make up the bulk of this collection. It should be kept in mind when reading the reports that some of the monitors, unfamiliar with the circumstances in which they found themselves and given the shortness of their stay (approximately six weeks), experienced difficulties in adjusting to the many demands that were placed upon them during the course of their work. Thus certain reports might represent events in a 'subjective light'.
This in no way invalidates their relevance as social documents attempting to convey the intensity of events as they unfolded. Daily and weekly reports (this includes correspondence) supplements the monitors regional final reports. During the approach to the elections, and the elections themselves, the EMPSA monitoring presence was increased. Election teams were grouped under specific areas in a particular region and their reports can also be found under daily/weekly reports.
Monitors were handed background information packs at the start of their programme. They were also issued with a uniform which served to identify the programme. These items are to be found in the collection.
EMPSA worked closely with church networks and established links with other non-governmental organisations, both nationally and internationally. Some of these records are reflected in the collection, notably the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the Independent Forum for Electoral Education (IFEE), the National Peace Accord, the Network of Independent Monitors, the Panel of Religious Leaders for Electoral Justice, Media Monitoring Projects and other observer missions to South Africa.
Other topics in the form of background documents are also included. They include education/youth, election monitoring and observing, policing, negotiations and violence.