Inquiry probing feasibility of holding elections starts this week

Political parties, civil society organisations and medical experts will make submissions to the Inquiry headed by retired Judge Dikgang Moseneke.

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

CAPE TOWN - The inquiry into ensuring free and fair local government elections during COVID-19 will this week hear arguments for and against the postponement of the local government elections in October.

Political parties, civil society organisations and medical experts will make submissions to the inquiry headed by retired Judge Dikgang Moseneke.

They will lobby as to why these crucial local government polls should or should not go ahead during the pandemic.

Others have already made written submissions and the inquiry will this week hear oral submissions from a range of organisations.

This week the inquiry will be inviting the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the Department of Health and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 to make oral submissions.

These parties will be joined by independent medical experts, monitoring bodies, civil society organisations and political parties who requested to make oral submissions.

One of these parties is former Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane’s One South Africa, which will tell the commission why the election can and must go ahead as planned on 27 October.

Another organisation that has made written submissions is the Institute of Election Management Services in Africa, which said postponing the elections by a few months would greatly help in levelling the playing field for political parties who had all been affected by lockdown restrictions.

The inquiry will weigh all the submissions and scientific evidence placed before it before submitting its report to the IEC by 21 July.

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

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