Electoral Court grants IEC application to postpone by-elections

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The Electoral Court has granted the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) an application to postpone the by-elections by another 120 days.

The elections were scheduled for January 20, February 3 and 17th across ten municipalities in six provinces.

With the implementation of COVID-19 Level 3 Lockdown restrictions, the IEC says the latest regulations curtail political activities which would not make the elections free and fair.

KwaZulu-Natal Electoral Operations Manager Ntombifuthi Masinga says, “We are not cancelling them. We have sought for a suspension to allow the country to move to lockdown regulations that will permit political gathering. So, we were quite happy that the court has actually granted these postponements.”

“This will affect the January and February by-elections. We will be lodging a further postponement for other by-elections that are scheduled for March, depending on what happened after the 15th of February in the country.”

Last week, EFF Deputy President, Floyd Shivambu said the party will table a Bill in Parliament next month to synchronise elections and postpone them to 2024.

Shivambu said tabling the Members’ Bill in Parliament could fast-track the process to amend the Constitution.

Addressing a media briefing, last week, EFF leader Julius Malema called for this year’s local government elections to be postponed for fear of it becoming a super spreader event for the coronavirus.

But ActionSA slammed the call for the delay of the 2021 local government elections made by EFF, saying it would generate a constitutional crisis for municipal governments, forcing them to operate “without the mandate they require from South Africans.”