Moseneke recommends postponement of local elections to February

Moseneke recommends postponement of local elections to February

Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke has ruled that the October 27 elections are unlikely to be free and fair.

Dikgang Moseneke July 2021

This after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) appointed Moseneke in May to determine whether it will be possible to head to the polls later this year in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. 


Moseneke was roped in to hear oral submissions from a variety of stakeholders including political parties, unions, religious bodies, and the public before submitting the final report to the commission. 


Political parties have been at loggerheads on the poll date, raising concerns that the Covid pandemic would prove to be a difficulty.


The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is among several opposition parties, including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), that have called on the IEC to postpone this year’s elections due to Covid-19. 


But the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) seemed adamant South Africa will be able to hold successful elections this year. 


Moseneke believes the elections should be postponed to February 2022.


“Having considered all these submissions of stakeholders, applicable law, research on electoral practice during the Covid-19 pandemic and the related science, we conclude that it is not reasonably possible or likely that the local government elections scheduled for the month of October 2021 will be held in a fair and fair manner.


“We go further, we find that the elections would be free and fair if they were held not later than the month of February 2022.”

While the recommendations are not binding, the independent commission emphasized the need to prioritise people’s lives and health. 


IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini says the commission welcomes the report and adds they would still study its content before making the final decision. 


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