Dlamini-Zuma: Oct elections will be postponed only after ConCourt ruling

Dlamini-Zuma, the minister responsible for proclaiming the date, said in order for the IEC to approach the court for a postponement of the elections, they must have been officially proclaimed.

Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma briefs the nation on regulations under lockdown level 1, which comes into effect at midnight, on Sunday 20 September 2020., Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Tuesday said she had to go ahead with calling 27 October as the date for local government elections, but this was only to allow for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to go to court for a postponement.

She said the IEC is set to urgently approach the Constitutional Court after an inquiry by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke found that elections in October would not be free or fair due to the COVID pandemic.

Dlamini-Zuma, the minister responsible for proclaiming the date, said in order for the IEC to approach the court for a postponement of the elections, they must have been officially proclaimed.

READ:

- IEC to head to court to have local govt elections postponed

- Moseneke finds local elections will not be free & fair if held in Oct

The minister said the decision to gazette the date as 27 October was based on opinion by legal counsel.

She has explained at a briefing that the IEC needs an official date for the polls when it approaches the Constitutional Court for a postponement to a date no later than February next year – and that she is simply doing what is required of her by law.

“It is therefore very clear that we must still go ahead to call the election and gazette the date. This will also enable the IEC to go ahead and file papers in the Constitutional Court to postpones an election that has been called.”

The gazetting of the date of elections means the voter’s roll will be sealed, but Dlamini-Zuma said it would be reopened once the Constitutional Court grants a postponement.

She said the IEC would not be able to allow for the registration of voters until a postponement was granted, but emphasised the electoral body was expected to approach the apex court on an urgent basis.

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