Moseneke recommends local govt polls be held no later than February due to COVID

IEC inquiry chairperson, former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, said that it was not possible that the elections scheduled for October would be free and fair. He said that COVID-19 restrictions would not only affect political parties and their campaigning efforts but also voters.

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 local government elections have to be postponed to next year because South Africans will be too at risk of COVID-19 infection.

That’s the conclusion of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)'s inquiry into whether the local government elections will be free and fair during the COVID-19 epidemic and lockdown.

READ MORE: Moseneke finds local elections will not be free & fair if held in Oct

The polls were set for 27 October.

The inquiry's chairperson, former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, said that it was not possible that the elections scheduled for October would be free and fair. He said that COVID-19 restrictions would not only affect political parties and their campaigning efforts but also voters.

“Voters will not have the opportunity to exercise rights that are essential in the conduct of free and fair elections. The concern is heightened when South Africa is placed under an alert level that imposes more severe restrictions during the run-up to a time earmarked for local government elections,” he said.

Moseneke said that the elections should be held by no later than February next year and hopefully, community immunity would have been achieved through mass vaccinations.

Some political parties have welcomed the report calling for the polls to be postponed, while others, like Mmusi Maimane’s One South Africa did not support the decision.

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