South Africa

NEWSFLASH 

IEC will head to court for deferral of 2021 Local Government Elections 

IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini by Moeletsi Mabe. © The Times.

Following the release of the Moseneke report, the IEC has said it will seek an urgent deferral of the municipal elections, currently scheduled for October 27, by approaching either the Electoral or Constitutional Court.

On 23 July, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)  announced it would be approaching the courts for a deferment of the upcoming municipal elections. Chairperson of the IEC, Glen Mashinini briefed journalists on the recommendations of the Moseneke report, which was released earlier this week. 

Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke found that conditions were not conducive to holding free and fair elections, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

Moseneke said reasons included the potential for a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, and smaller parties not being able to campaign fairly on social media platforms in comparison to bigger parties. 

On Friday, Mashinini said the decision to take the matter to court was based on the epidemiological concerns raised in Moseneke’s report, in conjunction with the current high levels of Covid-19 still being experienced in South Africa. He said the commission had accepted the findings of the Moseneke report. 

When asked by journalists which courts the IEC would approach to seek the deferment, Mashinini said it would approach either the Electoral Court or the Constitutional Court. The commission’s senior counsel would be “advising us shortly” on which court would be best to approach, he said.

Political parties have already been informed about the court application. 

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos argued earlier this week that at first glance, a decision to postpone the elections from October 2021 to February 2022 would be “an impossible one to make”. Read de Vos’s analysis in Daily Maverick here

Mashinini also said the IEC was in “advanced talks” with the Health Department to secure vaccinations for IEC staff.

Mashinini said while the court process was underway, all other electoral processes would continue. A new date for voter registration would be announced in due course. The date was originally scheduled for the weekend of 31 July and 1 August. DM

This is a developing story and may be updated.

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All Comments 6

  • If people can run around the streets looting and burning, then they can vote at a voting station. No need to delay, this is just another tactic from a losing party (the ANC)

  • I’m sure they’re going to keep doing all that they can to postpone the elections…they’ve lost a lot of support and I think they (ANC) fear that the party might lose a lot of their municipality’s support. ANC are a cANCer to the country and they need to be removed before they destroy SA.

  • Perhaps this postponement has a positive side.
    Now Cyril and co can focus on sorting out the devastation that has taken place recently, making sure it can’t happen again, getting the perpetrators locked up, catching up on outstanding matters like getting Ace and his ilk locked up, making our Covid control measures less cringe-worthy than they are now etc.
    I am sure our “leaders” would far rather be electioneering than dealing with the dirty work of sorting out the mess they have created.
    Now they have one thing less to hide behind.

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