The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will on Friday make a final decision on whether the October Local government Elections will take place or not.
This follows a report that was compiled by Justice Dikgang Moseneke that recommended that the October polls be postponed and be held in February 2022.
Moseneke solicited views from various stakeholders including the general public, political parties, health experts, scientists and electoral role-players.
Over 4 000 submissions were sent to his inquiry. On Thursday, the commission consulted the Political party Liaison Committee.
The IEC consulted various stakeholders following Moseneke’s report on free and fair elections, including the Political Party Liaison Committee.
This committee comprises of registered political parties which are represented in the National Assembly, provincial legislature and municipal council.
IEC will be the final arbiter on planned October elections:
Moseneke’s recommendations which considered scientific, expert and legal opinion suggest that free and fair elections should take place next year.
Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke says: “We go further to find that the scheduled elections are likely to be free and fair if they are held not later than the month of February 2020.”
Moseneke’s report cites public electoral campaigns could compromise the country’s efforts to limit the virus from spreading further.
Another concern is that political parties will it be able to campaign under strict lockdown measures.
The question is, if the IEC considers Justice Moseneke’s recommendations, will the commission have other options.
Executive Chairperson of the Institute of Election Management Services in Africa Terry Tselane says: “Parliament would have to need 75% of the national assembly and also six provinces vote for a constitutional amendment and he also indicated a second option, which is the preferred option.
The minister would have to approach the component court, in this case the constitutional court. There is a need for the minister of the IEC to approach the constitutional court for an amendment. ”
The Findings of a survey conducted by the University of Johannesburg and the Human Sciences Research Council show those two thirds of the public, support the postponement of the 2021 local government elections.
A sentiment echoed by some citizens on the ground. All eyes will be on the commission as it delivers its much anticipated report on Friday.