Constitutional Court should not grant relief to postpone elections: CASAC

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The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) says they will add their arguments about why the Constitutional Court should not grant the relief sought by the IEC to postpone the Local Government Elections to early 2022.

CASAC has been admitted as a friend of the court in the matter.

The IEC is seeking a postponement of the October elections in the Constitutional Court on Friday due to the prevailing conditions of COVID-19.

Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke recommended following an inquiry regarding the postponement of the Local Government Elections that it be moved to February next year.

The Moseneke Inquiry recommended that free and fair elections will not be possible on October 27 and that the elections should take place in February 2022.

CASAC executive secretary Lawson Naidoo says granting the order could have profound consequences.

Naidoo says, “There is a parliamentary mechanism to amend the Constitution. They’ve known for a very long time these elections were coming, if they felt it necessary to delay they should have taken that route. It would set a dangerous precedent to grant the order because they then open the door for further applications to the court to find ways around other constitutional obligations by organs of state.”

Constitutional Court to hear IEC’s application to postpone municipal elections:

Political parties expressed mixed reactions over the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) decision to accept the recommendations of the Moseneke Inquiry regarding the postponement of the elections.

The IEC accepted the recommendations.

IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini says the first step will be to postpone the national voter registration weekend scheduled for the end of this month.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) National Treasurer Thandi Nontenja welcomed the decision.

“We feel that the UDM is vindicated because this is what we’ve been calling for – to say the environment is not conducive. Even the February we still don’t think will be convenient. 99.9% of the parties today in our MPL called for a flexible situation where when the IEC apply for the extension or the postponement, it must be a flexible one up to April at least,” said Nontenja.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), which is against the postponement, says it will closely monitor the IEC’s next move to make sure it’s in line with the country’s Constitution. Party Spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube says they have noted the decision by the IEC.

“We have noted the decision by the IEC to fully adopt the Moseneke report,” says Gwarube.

Gwarube says it is important to consider how the IEC and the court plan to approach the situation.

“Because what we want to make sure is that whatever mechanism is being used, we want to make sure that it’s consistent with the constitution. We want to make sure that a dangerous precedent of postponing the elections for whatever reason is not set,” says Gwarube.

Political parties react to IEC’s adoption of the Moseneke report: