Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Moseneke chosen to decide whether or not to delay October local government elections

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has appointed former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke to review whether the 27 October local government elections should go ahead or possibly be postponed given the challenges the country is facing because of Covid-19

This was announced on Thursday by IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini

“Judge Moseneke will oversee the process of this year’s local government elections. He will compile a report on all the factors that will enable us to hold a free and fair election.

“We expect a report by mid July at the latest. This report will make recommendations that will ensure that we can have a free and fair election, regardless of the pandemic environment,” Mashinini said during a press briefing.

According to Mashinini, the request to Moseneke is in line with Section 14(4) of the Electoral Commission Act (51 of 1996). 

The section provides for the commission, should it deem necessary, to publish a report on the likelihood or otherwise that it will be able to ensure elections will be free and fair.

Moseneke is not new to the IEC, he was the chairperson of the commission when it conducted the first democratic elections in 1994. 

Moseneke will consider submissions from all stakeholders and political parties for his report.

“This report will consider all disaster management, legal and health factors to inform the possibility of a free and fair election, the review will be done in terms of the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996,” he said.

This is the first time the Act has been invoked. 

“We are aware of the weight resting on us, that of striking a balance between protecting our constitutional democracy and protecting lives. We also appeal to all political parties to assist judge Moseneke in carrying this task and delivering the report on time,” Mashinini explained.

“As the midwife of the first democratic election, we trust judge Moseneke to champion this baby once again. We will give him all the necessary support.”

The IEC was technically ready, said Mashinini, and preparations were at an advanced stage to host the elections, but the pandemic involved unknown probabilities. 

A further concern was the division of political parties on whether they could campaign freely under the current state of disaster. 

Moseneke said he was delighted with the task he had been given. 

“I could not ignore the importance of this undertaking to help in ensuring a free and fair election as embodied in the constitution,” he said. 

“On May 24, I will be opening an office that will get the ball rolling. Inviting all stakeholder and concerned political parties to engage with us,” he said. 

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Chris Gilili
Chris Gilili is a climate and environmental journalist at the Mail & Guardian’s environmental unit, covering socioeconomic issues and general news. Previously, he was a fellow at amaBhungane, the centre for investigative journalism.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘People feel they have a stake in SAA’ — Gidon...

Interest in the beleaguered national carrier, which has received billions of rands in public funding, means criticism is inevitable

Soweto teacher dismissed for the alleged repeated rape of a...

The learner was 13 when the alleged rapes started, and they continued for two years until she asked to be moved to another school

More top stories

Hospitals near capacity: What the new Covid-19 restrictions mean for...

After a dramatic surge in Covid-19 infections, President Ramaphosa has brought the country back to level three restrictions

Eskom to take over distribution, billing at troubled Free State...

The Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality owes the power utility more than R5-billion

ANC committed to paying staff salaries, but employees are not...

ANC staffers picketed outside Luthuli House on Tuesday after months of problems with salary payments

Kanalelo Boloetsi: Taking on Lesotho’s cellphone giants, and winning

A man who took on cellphone data regulators over out-of-bundle rates is featured in this edition of a series on human rights defenders in the SADC region
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×