The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)has unanimously accepted the recommendations of the Moseneke report that elections be deferred to February 2022.
The commission says it will now push for the shelving of the polls.
The Moseneke Inquiry had found that the polls wouldn’t be free and fair if they proceed in October as scheduled. It said greater immunity through mass vaccination is a desirable precondition for a safe, free and fair election to be realised.
Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke had solicited views from the public, political parties, health experts, scientists and electoral role-players as to whether free and fair elections are possible during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Chair of the IEC Glen Mashinini says they will now have a meeting with CoGTA Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the national treasury as well as political parties to communicate its decision that the elections be postponed.
Mashinini says the commission has also resolved to: “Urgently brief Senior Counsel to launch an application in a court of competent jurisdiction to seek judicial authorisation to conduct the election outside of the constitutionally prescribed time periods. To immediately postpone the upcoming voter registration weekend scheduled for 31 July and 1 August to a later date.”
The application for the postponement of the local polls will go to either the Electoral or Constitutional Court for a final decision.
Mashinini says the new dates for voter registration will be communicated in due course.
He says until a court of competent jurisdiction has determined the application for deferral, all other planned electoral activities will proceed.
IEC briefing in the video below: