IEC to file ConCourt application for postponement of 27 October polls

The government on Tuesday officially proclaimed 27 October as the date for the polls, but this was just to allow for the IEC to approach the Constitutional Court with a legally determined date.

FILE: IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini at a press briefing in Centurion, Johannesburg on 20 May 2021 on the upcoming local government elections. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that it woudl file papers on Wednesday afternoon in its application to the Constitutional Court for a postponement of the 27 October local government elections.

The IEC’s chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, made the announcement earlier on Wednesday.

The government on Tuesday officially proclaimed 27 October as the date for the polls, but this was just to allow for the IEC to approach the Constitutional Court with a legally determined date.

IEC chairperson, Glen Mashinini, said that the electoral body was targeting the last Wednesday in February next year for the elections.

This was in line with the recommendation of former Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, who found that the COVID-19 pandemic meant that it would not be possible for elections held in October to be free and fair, and said that the IEC should approach a competent court for a postponement to no later than the end of February 2022.

Much will depend on the ruling of the Constitutional Court, before which the IEC will filing papers on Wednesday afternoon.

Mashinini said that the legal action was extraordinary and presumably unprecedented.

“The application is also launched on an urgent basis because there is a need for certainty in the preparations for the municipal elections. The commission and electoral stakeholders are currently in an untenable position where preparations are proceeding for an election on October 27 whilst at the same time anticipating the outcome of the Constitutional Court application.“

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.