IEC sticks to its elections timetable despite the election date saga

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it’s sticking to its local government elections timetable despite the election date still being subject to a Constitutional Court hearing.

The Constitutional court is expected to hear next week the IEC’s application to postpone the local government elections to February next year.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) are among those opposing the application.

The IEC’s Northern Cape provincial manager, Bonolo Modise says, “During the elections, the commission drafts a timetable and one of the important elements in the timetable is the nomination of candidates and if a party intends to contest, the necessary amount is deposited, then the party is free to submit a list a candidate.”

The Moseneke Commission of Enquiry, which has been adopted by the IEC, has proposed that the election be postponed until February next year.

INFOGRAPHIC: Moseneke’s report:

Meanwhile, the leader of One South Africa (OSA) Mmusi Maimane, says he’ll be joining other parties and organisations in opposition to the application by the IEC to have the October local government election (LGE) postponed.

Maimane says the country needs to adequately prepare for the reality of elections during COVID. He was addressing the Cape Town Press Club on electoral reforms. Maimane says the mandate of the ANC and other political parties expires in October.

Maimane says it’s inevitable that elections will be held under COVID conditions.

“This is sacrosanct to our democracy. It’s vital that you don’t allow your Constitution to simply be amended by those who apply to the ConCourt. More than anything imagine if you had told the people of America please stick it up with President Trump, because we’ve got COVID. Imagine if you went to Malawi and said please let’s hold on for a while until there is no COVID. Imagine Zambia today go to the polls and you say to President Lungu, listen don’t worry just wait until the end of COVID.”

Constitutional crisis

On Wednesday the DA said a constitutional crisis will be created if the Constitutional Court accedes to the IEC’s application for the deferment of the LGE.

Federal Council chairperson, Helen Zille says the only way the constitution can be amended is through achieving a requisite majority in Parliament.

Zille says postponing the election will be a fatal mistake.

“If they were to accede to the IEC’s demands they will be in fact fundamentally violating their own role, which should be to defend the Constitution against all and it would create the impossible precedent of a small group of people being able to override the Constitution should they see fit to do so.”

In the video below Helen Zille speaks to SABC News: