IEC to ask Concourt to postpone local government elections

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jul 30, 2021

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THE Electoral Commission of SA will approach the Constitutional Court to postpone the local government elections, deputy electoral commissioner Masego Sheburi said on Friday.

“The commission will in the next week approach the Constitutional Court for a judicial authority authorising deference of the elections,” Sheburi said.

He made the statement when the IEC briefed the Home Affairs portfolio committee on the Judge Dikgang Moseneke inquiry that looked at whether the elections would be free and fair in October due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his report, Moseneke said the inquiry concluded that it was not reasonably possible or likely that the local government elections scheduled for October would be held in a free and fair manner.

Moseneke cited alert level 4, which imposed restrictions on movement, gatherings and activities of political parties and independent candidates.

He also said that were the elections to continue, some of the electoral processes could not be reasonably possible, starting with the face-to-face registration of voters, finalisation of the nomination process for registered parties and independent candidates.

Moseneke said the elections were likely to be free and fair if they were to be held not later than the end of February next year.

He urged the commission to urgently approach the court if it accepted his report.

Sheburi told the MPs that the commission has considered the Moseneke inquiry recommendations and would “adjust implementation of the electoral processes”.

He said that an election in February would be much safer as more people would have been vaccinated.

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