Moseneke spells out review committee’s work to assess election readiness

The commission on Thursday said it wants to benefit from the evaluation of all factors which have a bearing on the possibility of an otherwise free and fair election.

Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke at an IEC press briefing in Centurion, Johannesburg on 20 May 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Thursday said given the abnormal conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the minimum requirements for what constituted free and fair elections may be different from standards applied during ordinary times.

This was among the reasons the commission has appointed Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to head up an urgent review of the October local government elections.

READ: IEC appoints Moseneke to head review process on holding municipal polls

While the decision by the IEC to appoint the independent review could be seen as the institution covering its tracks to avoid any challenge of the outcomes of the October polls – should they go ahead as planned – it is within its mandate to do so.

The commission on Thursday said it wanted to benefit from the evaluation of all factors, which had a bearing on the possibility of an otherwise free and fair election.

Moseneke explained the work that the review committee will undertake.

“It is my intention, by the 24th of May, to establish an office to facilitate this process. This office will reach out to key stakeholders within the electoral sphere to urgently submit reports on their views regarding the various factors. These include political parties.”

The commission also said it was acutely aware of the weight of its responsibility to find the correct balance between protecting the constitutional democracy and people’s lives.

It said it would not shy away from using every tool at its disposal to make sure it met these obligations.

WATCH: IEC appoints Moseneke to assess if COVID will allow for free, fair local elections

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